London’s Big Ben will chime again today, Remembrance Sunday, to mark 100 years since World War One ended.
Despite being covered in scaffolding as the clock tower undergoes repairs and conservation work, the bell will chime for the first time in almost a year to commemorate the centenary of the armistice.
100 years ago today the armistice ended fighting on land, sea and air in a war which resulted in around 16 million deaths and changed the history of the world.
You can find out why we wear poppies on this day in the video below:
The 13.7 tonne bell will chime 11 times at 11am this morning as a part of the traditional two minutes of remembrance.
The clock tower did not ring throughout the war but chimed again on Armistice Day as people celebrated the end of fighting.
Then at 12.30pm it will chime 11 times again alongside other bells across the UK and the world which will be ringing simultaneously as a part of a programme of events organised by the British and German governments in a joint campaign.
As reported by The Evening Standard, 1,400 bellringers were recruited to help with the bell-ringing today to honour the 1,400 bell-ringers who lost their lives during the war.
The event at 12.30pm is designed not only to mark 100 years since the end of WWI, but it also concludes four years of centenary commemorations.
To ensure Big Ben would chime today, a bespoke electric mechanism was built to power up the 200kg striking hammer.
100 years ago today, Big Ben chimed for the first time in 4 years to mark the effective end of WW1. Countless people gave their lives so we could be here today. Since then, millions of men and women pay the ultimate sacrifice so we can be here.
Today and always. We will remember. pic.twitter.com/fTES2hBNpY
— 'That British Kid' Conrad Newton (@conrad__newton) November 11, 2018
The clock tower is currently undergoing renovation work meaning its famous bells have been out of action since August 2017 when they were disconnected from the clock mechanism.
To bring in 2018 the bell was temporarily reconnected so it could ring as a part of New Years’ Eve celebrations, something which will be happening again this year.
The maintenance work is expected to continue until 2021, a necessary length of time for health and safety reasons which protects the workers.
— UK Parliament (@UKParliament) August 14, 2017
Parliamentary authorities announced the news of the repairs on their website:
This essential programme of works will safeguard the clock on a long term basis, as well as protecting and preserving its home – the Elizabeth Tower.
Members of the public are welcome to mark this important moment by gathering in Parliament Square to hear Big Ben’s final bongs until they return in 2021.
The conservation project started earlier this year, with the start of scaffolding works. Once this scaffolding reaches the necessary height, work will begin at the very top of the Tower with the renovation of the Ayrton Light (which shines to show that Parliament is sitting) and the refurbishment of the cast iron roofing.
The team will then work their way down the building, removing scaffolding as they go, and tackling a wide range of the complex issues created by the height and heritage of this unique landmark.
Despite all of the scaffolding, the government have ensured that at least one face of the famous clock will always be visible to the public throughout the work.
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