The UK will mark 100 years since the end of the First World War with a procession of 10,000 civilians past the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day, the Culture Secretary has announced.
Jeremy Wright, who was only appointed to his job earlier this week following a series of resignations from the Cabinet, announced a ballot for places on the march on Thursday evening.
The event – titled A Nation’s Thank You – The People’s Procession – will be followed by bell ringing by churches across the country to echo the actions of British citizens 100 years ago.
Bells that had stood silent throughout the war were rung in celebration as news of the Armistice spread, and the British Government – with the support of Germany – has invited other nations to take part.
The Culture Secretary said: “On the centenary of the Armistice, it is right that we come together to give thanks to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who returned home to help shape the world we live in today.
“The 11th of November offers us a unique opportunity to show our appreciation for the generation who gave so much to secure this hard-fought victory.
“I encourage everyone, whatever their connection to the First World War, to apply to participate in the People’s Procession and join in with the bell ringing programme to help us mark this historic occasion.
“This will be a fitting conclusion to the four-year commemorations of the centenary of the First World War and will ensure the stories from this important period of our history are passed down to future generations.”
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport described the procession as a chance “to give thanks to all those who served in the First World War to secure the victory that helped shape the rights and privileges we enjoy today.”
Those taking part will pass to Whitehall and have the chance to lay wreaths at the foot of the Cenotaph.
The procession and bell ringing will take place on November 11 after the national service of remembrance and the march past the Cenotaph by the British Legion.