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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 November, 2004, 15:45 GMT
Remembrance Day across the UK
People throughout the UK have marked Remembrance Day with sombre ceremonies.


The Queen at the Cenotaph

In central London, at the first stroke of Big Ben at 11am, a single round fired from a field gun signalling the start of a two-minute silence.

The Queen, in black, had earlier emerged from the old Home Office building on Whitehall and took up her position facing the Cenotaph.

Behind her senior members of the Royal Family, in military uniform, stood to attention.

The boom of a second round of cannon fire, from the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery positioned on Horse Guards Parade, broke the silence.

A large number of veterans - 9,000 - attended, making it one of the most popular in recent years.

They were joined by about 1,500 civilians in the parade.

They marched past relatively slowly - 100 paces to the minute - as the band played familiar tunes associated with Remembrance Sunday, like Tipperary and Take me Back to Dear Old Blighty.


Former members of the Black Watch at the London ceremony
Former members of the Black Watch mark the day

As a contrast to the big ceremonies, Kirriemuir held a service which was in many ways more typical of many in towns and villages across the UK.

Around 150 local people gathered in the square and bowed their heads in silence at 11 o'clock.

Among them were war veterans with their medals, army cadets, scouts and guides carrying flags, and families with toddlers in pushchairs.

The sound of the last post echoed around the red stone buildings of the centre of the historic old town.

The pipers lament rang out too - but with added poignancy in this particular place.

Kirriemuir is right in the heartland of the Black Watch, which traditionally draws recruits from Fife, Angus and Perthshire.

So the people gathering in Kirriemuir were remembering the dead not just from wars long ago, they were thinking too about the four men killed within the past fortnight.

With a mixture of sadness and pride they paid their respects to the Black Watch who have fallen and to those who are serving in Iraq.

The people of Kirriemuir want them home safely for Christmas.


Don Touhig MP, Rodney Berman and Rhodri Morgan hold wreaths
Dignitaries laid wreaths in Cardiff

Around 1,000 men, women and children gathered in the bright sunshine and biting cold at the impressive war memorial in the centre of Cardiff.

Even the water fountain fell quiet as politicians and services leaders led the two minute silence at the National Remembrance Service in Cathays Park.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan and Welsh Assembly Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis-Thomas were among the dignitaries who laid wreaths on the specially made wooden steps at the foot of the memorial which proudly proclaims "Dros for fe droes I farw" ( "He went overseas to die").

Hundreds of veterans, some in wheelchairs and others with war medals emblazoned across their chests, had joined the procession to the memorial and they stood in quiet contemplation behind the British Legion standard bearers as the bugler sounded the Last Post.

Then, after a multicultural service which includes prayers from Jewish leaders, there was the regimental march past and salute at the front of the City Hall, led off by the Welch Fusiliers Regimental goat.

Some of the veterans clearly found it difficult to keep up with the marching pace, but they all walked with pride as the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, Captain Norman Lloyd-Edwards took the salute.


Remembrance Sunday at Belfast City Hall
Wreaths were laid outside Belfast City Hall

It was a sombre occasion for the hundreds of people gathered at the Cenotaph outside Belfast City Hall for Remembrance Sunday.

Old soldiers, some on crutches, stood with dignity and pride throughout the multi-denominational service even though it obviously hurt them to stay on their feet for so long.

On a crisp autumn morning, assorted military, religious and political dignitaries turned out to pay their respects to those who died in the two world wars and other conflicts.

At 1100 GMT, flags were lowered to half mast for a minute's silence, while military personnel and members of the public alike bowed their heads to remember those who sacrificed their lives.

The government was represented by Northern Ireland Office minister Ian Pearson, who was one of the many making the procession to lay a wreath at the foot of the Cenotaph.

Veterans approached the monument slowly but with determination - bending to lay the wreath. Walking back, they greeted old comrades as they passed.

Clergy from the four main Christian denominations in Northern Ireland said prayers, while a military marching band provided a solemn musical accompaniment.

Although increasingly frail, those old soldiers wore their polished campaign medals with pride.

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