This Sunday, November 13, is Remembrance Sunday, which is marked annually on the Sunday closest to Armistice Day.

Armistice Day, also known as Remembrance Day, marks The Armistice – an agreement to end the fighting of the First World War which began at 11am on November 11 1918.

But what is Remembrance Sunday, why do we commemorate it and why do people wear poppies?

What happens on Remembrance Sunday?

There is usually a National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in London, at 11am.

Poppy wreaths are laid in front of the Cenotaph and The Royal Family pay their tributes, as well as members of the Armed Forces and senior British politicians, including the Prime Minister.

Like on Armistice Day, the nation will observe a two minute long silence at 11am.

The Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday.

What is the Cenotaph?

The cenotaph is a war memorial in Whitehall, London which was unveiled in 1920 as the United Kingdom’s national memorial to remember those from Britain and the Commonwealth who died in the First World War.

In 1946, it was rededicated to include those who lost their lives in the Second World War.

What happens on Armistice Day?

On November 11 each year, the nation observes a two-minute silence at 11am to remember those who have lost their lives fighting for our country.

Several memorial services take place up and down the country at cenotaphs, churches, war memorials and schools.

Photo by Cross-Keys Media on Unsplash

Why do we have the two-minute silence?

The first two-minute silence was held on November 11 1919, a year after the end of World War One.

King George V asked the public to observe a silence at 11am.

He made the request so “the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.”

Why are poppies an important symbol of remembrance?

Throughout November you may notice a lot of people wearing poppies, as well as poppy wreaths being laid at cenotaphs and war memorials.

Poppies are used because they were the flowers which grew in the fields once World War One had ended.

Since then, the poppy has been used as a symbol of remembrance for those who lost their lives in both World Wars, as well as in conflicts since then.

Each year, The Royal British Legion hosts its annual Poppy Appeal. 

Photo by Laurentiu Iordache on Unsplash

The money from all poppies sold is used to help servicemen and women whose lives have been changed by fighting in wars.

It also helps veterans (former members of the armed forces) who may need to find new jobs or somewhere to live.

As well as those who have served, donations are used to help those who have lost loved ones because of wars.

The Royal British Legion, which runs the poppy campaign each year, says that the red poppy is an emblem of remembrance and hope.

Prince William, Prince Harry, Megan Markle and Kate Middleton wearing poppies. Credit: Getty Images

However, some people choose not to wear a poppy as they believe it has become too much of a symbol of religion and politics.

You can find out more about this year’s Poppy Appeal here.