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Queen leads Britain`s Remembrance Day ceremony

Last Updated: Sunday, November 8, 2009 - 21:10

London: Queen Elizabeth II led Britain`s annual ceremony for the country`s war dead on Sunday, honouring them with a moment of silence as the military reported the 200th British soldier killed in combat in Afghanistan.
As Big Ben chimed 11 am (local time), the queen joined thousands of troops, veterans and civilians in the traditional two-minute silence on Remembrance Sunday. The silence was broken by a single artillery blast and the sound of the Royal Marine buglers playing the "Last Post".

The remembrance service is held every year on the nearest Sunday to the anniversary of the end of World War I at 11 am on November 11, 1918 and now pays tribute to the dead in all conflicts, including in World War II, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Defence Ministry said today that one more British soldier had joined the ranks of the honoured. A soldier from the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, was killed in an explosion yesterday near Sangin in central Helmand province, the Ministry said.

This year`s ceremony was particularly poignant because the country`s three last known British veterans of World War I -- Bill Stone, Henry Allingham and Harry Patch -- all died this year.

Many at the ceremony wore small red paper poppies sold by a veterans` charity, in a symbol of the flowers that grew in the soil of Flanders Fields in Belgium, a key battleground in World War I.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, November 8, 2009 - 21:10

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