Wednesday, November 11, 1998 Published at 10:22 GMT
Remembering the sacrifice
Wreaths were laid in memory of the 8.5 million men who died
As veterans from around the world looked on, the British and French heads of state stood together at the Arc de Triomphe during the two minutes' silence.
The Last Post was played, followed by the British and French national anthems.
Queen Elizabeth later unveiled special monuments to the Irish war dead and to Winston Churchill - Britain's leader during World War II.
For the past 80 years those who fought and died in the war have been remembered at the Menin Gate every evening with the playing of the Last Post.
The tradition was interrupted only by the German occupation of Belgium between 1940 and 1944.
Most of the former soldiers who have made the pilgrimage are more than 100 years old and require the support of wheelchairs and walking sticks. But their memories remain intact.
For many it will be the last time they will travel to France to attend a major anniversary of the end of the conflict and for this reason the commemorative events have taken on a special significance.
The bugle which first relayed news of the ceasefire to the trenches sounded again as President Chirac and the Queen attended the main ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Back in Britain MPs in the House of Commons stood and bowed their heads while marking the two minutes' silence.
Row over mutineers
To honour allied veterans, France is giving its top award, the Legion of Honour, to surviving soldiers.
Mr Jospin suggested last week that history should take a kinder view of the mutineers that were shot by a firing squad during a particularly bloody phase of the war.
But President Chirac's office issued a rare public put-down. Supporters of the conservative president suggested Mr Jospin was undermining military discipline.