WWI Armistice anniversary: Pipers, bells and beacons all over world will mark occasion

Pageantmaster and Battle's Over organiser Bruno Peek, 67, holds one of the bells that will be used to pay tribute to the World War One fallen
Pageantmaster and Battle's Over organiser Bruno Peek, 67, holds one of the bells that will be used to pay tribute to the World War One fallen

Pipers will play, beacons will be lit and church bells will ring in all corners of the UK and around the world as communities pay tribute to the First World War fallen 100 years after the bloody conflict ended.

The tribute, called ‘Battle’s Over’, has been in the planning for four years and will mark the centenary of the Armistice on November 11.

Pageant master Bruno Peek, 67, who co-ordinated the events, explained that they take their name from the tune that was traditionally played on pipes by the Scottish regiments at the end of a battle, called When The Battle’s Over.

More than 1,300 pipers around the world will play the tune at 6am on the day, from village greens and in high streets, to a lone piper in front of the Tomb Of The Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey in London.

As this will happen in local time and there will be a “swathe of sound across the world” starting in New Zealand, Mr Peek said.

The next element of the tribute will not be until the evening so as not to “interfere” with Remembrance Sunday, he said.

More than 1,000 buglers will play The Last Post at individual First World War beacon sites at 6.55pm, and the beacons will be lit at 7pm to signify the light that came out of the darkness of war.

More than 140 town criers will then undertake A Cry For Peace Around The World at 7.05pm, and more than 1,000 churches will ring their bells as a finale to the day.

“It’s going to pay tribute to the millions who either died or returned home dreadfully wounded during or after the war finished on November 11 1918,” said Mr Peek, a former welder.

“I wanted to put together an international project that was led by the people of the world, not by governments or organisations but real community-based commemorations, because as we know so many soldiers that died came from local communities, small towns and parishes, not just in the UK but other countries around the world.”

Mr Peek said he has worked with town and parish councils and organisations around the world, sending emails from his home in Gorleston-on-Sea near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, to bring his vision for a tribute to life.

“It’s been a long process, a lot of administration, but I feel so privileged to be working with so many people who want to pay tribute to those who gave so much so that we enjoy the freedom of speech and movement we have today,” he said.

He said many of the buglers were cadets, as “we felt it really important to involve young people in these commemorations”.

The cry for peace will be led by a Chelsea Pensioner from the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.

In Ypres in Belgium, where five battles were fought, four town criers will undertake the cry together in the market square in French, German, Dutch and English.

To see a guide of where events are happening on the day and how to get involved, see www.brunopeek.co.uk

Mr Peek said he wants to list all who are taking part in the guide, and the closing date to be included is October 25.