Orkney Commemorates #Armistice100

poppyA series of events will take place in Orkney to commemorate the ending of the First World War in 1918 – “the war to end all wars”.

Orkney Islands Council is working with partners and organisations to mark the centenary of the armistice, and to remember all those lives lost in the Great War and later conflicts.

Sunday 11th of November


6am  a lone piper at St Magnus Cathedral will join 1,000 individual pipers from across the United Kingdom and the world as they bring in the day’s commemorations with the traditional Scottish lament ‘Battle’s O’er’, played at the end of battle.

10:30am the traditional Remembrance Sunday parade will commence. Veterans, Army and Sea Cadets and other groups will muster at the Royal British Legion, setting off shortly afterwards to form up on Broad Street.

11am A short Service led by the Salvation Army Captain will lead to a two minutes silence before a special Armistice Service takes place in the Cathedral.


volunteers will begin to create a large-scale portrait in the sand at Scapa Beach of an Orcadian soldier killed during WWI as part of Danny Boyle’s 14-18 NOW commission, ‘Pages of the Sea’. The artwork – one of 30 in the UK and only 5 across Scotland – will signify both the departure of the soldier from the county to serve at war, and – as the tide washes their image away – the loss of their life and those of many others. More details about this event will be unveiled in coming weeks. Pages of the Sea at Waulkmill Bay

3pm Orkney’s young people join forces with Orkney Rocks! Choir and others to remember those lost, and the impact the war had on those left behind, in a special concert at the Orkney Arts Theatre. Admission will be free and there will be an opportunity to make a contribution to the charity, Help for Heroes. Tickets for the concert will be released on Monday 29 October and will be available at the Council’s Customer Services points in School Place, Kirkwall and Warehouse Buildings, Stromness.

4.55pm, a lone bugler at the St Magnus Cathedral will join 1,000 individual buglers from across the UK and oversees territories in sounding the historic ‘Last Post’.

7pm the lighting of a beacon on the St Magnus Cathedral kirk green  as part of the national ‘Beacons of Light’ event which will see beacons lit across the country, symbolising an end to the darkness of war and return to the light of peace.

7.05pm the bells of St Magnus Cathedral will ring alongside 1,000 others across the nation and beyond.

5pm to 8pm the short film specially commissioned by the Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative for the centenary of the armistice will be projected on to the Cathedral – for the last time.


Harvey Johnston,Convener of Orkney Islands Council,  said:

“We are grateful to everyone who has worked with us so far to ensure we have a fitting programme of events here in Orkney for people to mark this momentous occasion and pay their respects to forbears who suffered so much. I hope people will involve and immerse themselves in these events as much as they can.”

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