Armistice Day, 1920

Clip from © IWM (IWM 505). Armistice Day, 1920

The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London has become the central focus for remembrance in Britain since the First World War 

Newsreel footage in the IWM film collection shows King George V unveiling the Cenotaph in 1920 and the coffin of the Unknown Warrior passing the Cenotaph prior to its burial at Westminster Abbey. The stone structure designed by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens replaced a temporary Cenotaph, made of wood and plaster, which was also a site for public commemoration. 

IWM holds one of the finest and most extensive First World War archives in the world.

From scenes at the front to memorial ceremonies, explore more Remembrance-themed film clips.

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© IWM (Q 109517). The Unknown Warrior

For the unveiling of the permanent memorial in November 1920, the body of an unknown soldier was returned to London and reburied at Westminster Abbey. The body had been selected anonymously from the main British battle areas on the Western Front.