Archive for November, 2016


Commemorating Armistice Day

11 November, 2016

Earlier today, at 11am, BEIS and DIT staff observed two minutes’ silence to remember those who have fought and died in conflicts since the First World War.

Permanent Secretaries Alex Chisholm and Sir Martin Donnelly and Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox were among those who laid wreaths at the base of the Board of Trade memorial in the foyer of 1 Victoria Street. Around 900,000 British military personnel lost their lives in the First World War, among them over 300 Board of Trade employees.

Catherine Raines (Director General of International Trade and Investment, DIT) laid a wreath on behalf of BEIS ministers; Rt. Hon. Dr Liam Fox MP laid one on behalf of DIT ministers; Alex Chisholm laid one on behalf of BEIS staff; Martin Donnelly laid one on behalf of DIT staff; one was laid by Colonel John Ogden, in memory of those with no known grave; Richard McDonald-Webb (a serving member of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force) laid a wreath in memory of our fallen colleagues; Simon Tapson (retired Corporal from the Royal Military Police) laid one on behalf of Retired Service Personnel; Caroline Jacobs (great niece of a fallen WW1 serviceman) laid one on behalf of Relatives and Friends of the Fallen and Sara Wheeler MBE (Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy Relationship Manager) laid one on behalf of the war memorial research group.


Left to right: Sara Wheeler, Col John Ogden, Caroline Jacobs, Richard McDonald- Webb, Liam Fox, Simon Tapson, Alex Chisholm, Martin Donnelly and Catherine Raines

The BEIS and DIT choir also sang at the ceremony.


Remembrance is part of modern British life, culture and heritage. The poppy is the symbol of remembrance and hope. During the First World War, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare.

The first two minutes’ silence in Britain was held on 11 November 1919, when King George V asked the public to observe a two-minute silence at 11am


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