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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 November 2006, 16:05 GMT
Silence honours nation's war dead
Poppies in Trafalgar Square fountain
Poppies were placed in Trafalgar Square to mark Armistice Day
People across the UK have been remembering Britain's war dead, as a two-minute silence to mark Armistice Day began a weekend of events.

Streets, shops and public transport came to a halt at 1100 GMT as people privately paid their respects.

Thousands of UK troops serving abroad, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, held services to remember past and present colleagues who have died.

The Queen and Tony Blair also attended a service for New Zealand's war dead.

Being out here, it's quite a tough job to do - it brings it all home to you
Andy Mason
Royal Marine

Many members of the Royal Family were also at the event in London's Hyde Park.

The country's prime minister, Helen Clark, who also attended the dedication, said the day was a special one for her country.

At the British Air Services Memorial in St Omer, northern France, the UK's oldest war veteran, 110-year-old Henry Allingham, laid a wreath.

Henry Allingham
Henry Allingham, 110, laid a wreath in northern France

In Baghdad, coalition troops gathered in the heavily fortified American Embassy where they were addressed by Lieutenant Mike Marley of the Royal Australian Army.

In Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where the majority of British forces are based, some 1,200 servicemen and women turned out to pay their respects.

Among them was Andy Mason, a Royal Marine, who said: "It's good to commemorate our dead, past and present. And being out here, it's quite a tough job to do - it brings it all home to you."

Back in the UK, an event in Trafalgar Square called Silence in the Square was hosted by GMTV presenter Ben Shephard, with live performances by the All-Angels and Charterhouse School Choir.

Lone bugler

Rebecca Sullivan, 13, from Enfield, north London, recited a poem, There Lie Forgotten Men, which she wrote for a homework assignment and which was chosen by the Legion to be read during the commemoration.

I hope it will serve as a focal point
Jonathan Hunt, New Zealand High Commissioner

At the Cenotaph on Saturday afternoon, a piper accompanied relatives of British soldiers killed in Iraq to a memorial service organised by the National Military Families Against the War Campaign.

The names of British service personnel and some of the Iraqi civilians who have died in the conflict was read out at the Whitehall memorial.

In Liverpool, former servicemen gathered on the steps of St George's Hall for a remembrance service.

And a lone piper played at the Imperial War Museum North, in Manchester, while veterans gathered at George Square in Glasgow to lay wreaths and crosses.

Later, the Queen joined the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family for the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at London's Royal Albert Hall.

On Remembrance Sunday, she will lay the first wreath at the Cenotaph in London.

The nationwide two-minute silence has been observed since the end of World War I, at 11 o'clock on 11 November 1918, to remember those who lost their lives then and in conflicts since.

People observe the two-minute silence


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