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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Unknown Warrior - N Battery RHA





On the 11th November 1920 the Unknown Warrior was interred in Westminster Abbey. The body of an unknown soldier had been selected to represent those who's final resting place was unknown to loved ones. 


On the 10th November 1920 the body was brought from France on the destroyer HMS Verdun, travelling from Boulogne to Dover.




 The body was then transported from Dover by train to Victoria Station arriving at Victoria Station on platform 8 at 8:32 pm, where it remained overnight under a military guard. 





Unknown Warrior Victoria Station 10th November 1920


On the 11th November the casket was loaded on to a gun carriage from N  Battery Royal Horse Artillery, pulled by six black horses. A 19 gun salute was fired in Hyde Park by the Royal Horse Artillery at 9:40 am, signifying the start of the procession. 



Gun Carriage N Battery Royal Horse Artillery carrying the Unknown Warrior



Gun team of black horses from N Battery Royal Horse Artillery pulling gun carriage carrying the Unknown Warrior


The gun carriage was flanked by the highest ranked officers of the Armed Forces; Admirals of the fleet Meux, Beatty, Jackson; Admirals Sturdee and Maden; Field Marshalls French, Haig, Methuen, and Wilson; Generals Horne and Byng; Air Marshall Trenchard.



N Battery Royal Horse Artillery  Unknown Warrior Procession



N Battery Royal Horse Artillery gun carriage flanked by Field Marshalls Haig and French


The gun carriage and procession proceeded to Westminster Abbey via Grosvenor Gardens, Grosvenor Place, the Wellington Arch (where the Royal Artillery Memorial would be unveiled in October 1925), Constitution Hill, the Mall, through Admiralty Arch to Whitehall where the Cenotaph would be unveiled by King George V.





N Battery Royal Horse Artillery Unknown Warrior gun carriage passes through Admiralty Arch


On arrival in Whitehall, the gun team wheeled left just down from Downing Street in order to bring the gun carriage and casket directly in front of the King.



N Battery Royal Horse Artillery Unknown Warrior gun carriage Cenotaph



N Battery Royal Horse Artillery Unknown Warrior gun carriage Cenotaph


On the last stroke of Big Ben sounding 11 o'clock, two years after the Armistice brought an end the First World War, King George V unveiled the Cenotaph. 




As the two Union Flags which had covered the  Cenotaph fell to the ground, the chimes of Big Ben ended, and a national two minute silence commenced. The 'Great Silence' had been instituted in 1919 and would become the focus of Remembrance for the next century. At the end of the two minute silence buglers sounded the Last Post.


On conclusion of the unveiling ceremony the King laid a wreath on casket of the Unknown Warrior before the carriage proceeded to Westminster Abbey.



King George V places wreath on the Unknown Warrior's casket


The gun carriage moved to Westminster Abbey behind the massed bands, the Archbishop Canterbury and religious leaders. King George V was immediately behind the gun carriage, as the chief mourner, accompanied by the Royal Princes; Prince of Wales (future King Edward VIII) and the Duke of York (future King George VI). The gun carriage and procession filed past the Cenotaph. 



N Battery Royal Horse Artillery Unknown Warrior gun carriage file past the Cenotaph followed by King George V




The Unknown Warrior was interred in Westminster Abbey in the presence of King George V, senior Armed Forces leaders, politicians, veterans, and those who had lost husbands and sons during the war. 


A British warrior
Unknown by name or rank
Brought from France to lie among the most illustrious of the land
 buried on Armistice Day 11 November 1920



Burial of the Unknown Warrior in the presence of King George V Westminster Abbey 11th November 1920




Edited by ianjonesncl


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