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The reason behind English players and fans observing the "11th hour silence"

Shyam Sunder
15.19K   //    11 Nov 2016, 12:58 IST
England players and officials observe a moment of silence before the start of the third day’s play. (Image courtesy: England Cricket Twitter handle)

The England cricket team are currently playing the Indians in the first of the five-match Test series in Rajkot and have been pretty much impressive in their approach towards the sub-continent conditions. While both the teams were sweating it out to get the momentum on their side, the England team and their fans made a special gesture on the third day's play in Rajkot.

Also read: India vs England- first Test, day 3: Twitter reactions

The England players were wearing a poppy on their chest and observed a moment of silence before the start of the play with regards to the Armistice Day. The English fans too joined their players and stood up to observe a minute of silence early on the third day.

A majority of the fans were seen wearing the poppy on their chest and looked pretty emotional just like the cricketers. There was another unusual scene exactly at 11am on the third day's play as the English in the stadium stood up at their respective places and observed a silence for two minutes to mark the "11th Hour". The scorching heat of Rajkot seemed to have no effect on the fans as they removed their hats for those two minutes.

What is the Armistice Day ?

Armistice Day is observed every year on 11 November to mark the day in 1918 when the World War One was stopped once and for all. The Allies and Germany signed an armistice in a railway carriage in the Forest of Compiegne in France at 05:00. Six hours later, at 11:00, the conflict ceased.

King George V announced that a two-minute silence would be observed in 1919, four days before the first anniversary of Armistice Day. The silence continues to be observed every year on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The Armistice essentially ended four years of fighting in the World War I.

Events that span out with respect to Armistice day

The Royal British Legion host its Silence in the Square event in Trafalgar Square, London to mark Armistice Day on November 11. There is also a service of remembrance outdoors at the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum . On Remembrance Sunday - November 13 - the Queen and senior Royals lead two minutes' silence at 11am at The Cenotaph in Whitehall.


Why do people wear a poppy on their chest ?

The Royal British Legion's biggest fundraising campaign is held every November, the period of Remembrance, when the charity distributes their iconic paper poppies to raise vital funds to help the Armed Forces community. Numerous cities across England dedicate a day to distributing poppies and getting the public involved through various activities and recreations, from military bands to NFL cheerleaders.

Also read: India vs England, 2016 News

The Royal British Legion is a British charity providing financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependents.

But why the poppy ?

At the end of the First World War, poppies were the first flowers to grow in Northern France and Flanders battlefields. So as a mark of remembrance, the English officials and public prefer the poppy flower.

Also Read: The poppy: It's significance, controversy and why England will be wearing it against Scotland

The Armistice day is considered as an integral part of an English citizen's duty and is observed by them no matter where they are. Lately the English government has tried to impose a ban on wearing a poppy, however, the sportsmen have defied the odds over the years to pay tribute to the martyrs.

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