The Cenotaph is a national memorial to remember 'The Glorious
Dead'. It was originally constructed of wood and plaster and was built
as a place to lay wreaths on the first anniversary of the end of the
First World War in 1919. It proved to be so important to the public that
a permanent memorial was produced, made out of Portland stone.
The Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, was officially unveiled by
King George V on 11th November 1920, and the memorial has been used ever
since as a monument to honour the fallen.
Each year on Armistice Day wreaths of poppies are laid by
royalty, heads-of-state and other officials. Wreaths are then laid by
the heads of the military services and these are followed by the wreaths
of veterans organisations.
There are memorials similar to the London Cenotaph in countries
all over the world, and poppy wreaths are laid by dignitaries on
Armistice Day just as is done at the original memorial.