The 2 Minute Silence

Why 2 minutes? Well, the first minute is for thanksgiving for those that survived and the second is to remember the fallen.

The 2 minutes silence traditionally follows the playing of the last post on a trumpet or the repeating of the “Ode of Remembrance” the world over – but did you know that it was conceived by a South African?

South African – Sir Percy Fitzpatrick of “Jock of the Bushveld” fame (whose son Nugent was a gunner and was killed on the Western Front) first proposed the idea of 2 minutes silence at a Church Service at the Cathedral in Cape Town in 1919.

He then wrote to King George suggest the same and it was accepted and implemented by Royal decree. On 27 October 1919, a suggestion from Fitzpatrick for a moment of silence to be observed annually on 11 November, in honour of the dead of World War I, was forwarded to George V, then King of the United Kingdom, who on 7 November 1919, proclaimed

“that at the hour when the Armistice came into force, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, there may be for the brief space of two minutes a complete suspension of all our normal activities … so that in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.”

11 November was the date in 1918 that the formal end of combat occurred to end WWI. Fitzpatrick was thanked for his suggestion of the two minute silence by Lord Stamfordham, the King’s Private Secretary who wrote:

Dear Sir Percy,

The King, who learns that you are shortly to leave for South Africa, desires me to assure you that he ever gratefully remembers that the idea of the Two Minute Pause on Armistice Day was due to your initiation, a suggestion readily adopted and carried out with heartfelt sympathy throughout the Empire.

Signed Stamfordham


Search this Site

Next Event

Aug
25
Sat
2018
13:30 England Branch Q3 Social & Commi...
England Branch Q3 Social & Commi...
Aug 25 @ 13:30 – 18:00
England Branch Q3 Social & Committee Meeting @ TBC
Purpose (of committee meeting): All Branch members are invited to contribute in providing suggestions/feedback, or just listen to the quarterly update. Final event planning will also take place for one of our upcoming flagship events –
Sep
22
Sat
2018
10:00 Battle of Square Hill Parade **C...
Battle of Square Hill Parade **C...
Sep 22 @ 10:00 – 15:00
Battle of Square Hill Parade **Centenary** @ Richmond Cenotaph
Battle of Square Hill **Centenary** Parade Purpose: We remember the contribution of the South African Cape Corps battalion which helped the Allies – lead by General Allenby – break through to Damascus and knock the
18:30 SA Legion Formal Ball and Annual... @ Southgate Masonic Centre
SA Legion Formal Ball and Annual... @ Southgate Masonic Centre
Sep 22 @ 18:30 – 23:59
SA Legion Formal Ball and Annual Awards 2018 @ Southgate Masonic Centre | England | United Kingdom
Reserve your tickets now! It is time again for you to get out your Mess Dress or Black-Tie evening wear for this superb occasion. The event will be full of pleasant surprises, a few twists
Nov
10
Sat
2018
10:30 South African Veterans’ Armistic... @ Richmond Cenotaph
South African Veterans’ Armistic... @ Richmond Cenotaph
Nov 10 @ 10:30 – 14:30
South African Veterans' Armistice Day Parade @ Richmond Cenotaph
11 November 2018 will mark 100 years since end of the First World War. On Saturday 10 November 2018, at 10h30, members of the South African Legion UK & Europe as well as representatives of