Half crown (British coin)
The half crown was a denomination of British money, equivalent to two shillings and sixpence, or one-eighth of a pound. The half crown was first issued in 1549, in the reign of Edward VI. No half crowns were issued in the reign of Mary, but from the reign of Elizabeth I half crowns were issued in every reign except Edward VIII, until the coins were discontinued in 1967; the half crown was demonetised on 1 January 1970, the year before the United Kingdom adopted decimal currency on Decimal Day. During the English Interregnum of 1649–1660, a republican half crown was issued, bearing the arms of the Commonwealth of England, despite monarchist associations of the coin's name; when Oliver Cromwell was made Lord Protector of England, half crowns were issued bearing his semi-royal portrait. The half crown did not display its value on the reverse until 1893. King Henry VIII 1526: the first English half crown was struck in gold. King Edward VI 1551: issued the first half crown in silver; the coin showed the king riding a horse.
Queen Mary I: the half crown was struck on Mary's marriage to Philip II of Spain in 1554 but was never issued for circulation. Three specimens exist. Http://www.petitioncrown.com/spare15_LK47.html Queen Elizabeth I: gold half crowns were issued again. At the end of the reign silver half crowns were issued. King James I: gold half crowns were issued again. During the reign silver half crowns were issued. King Charles I: silver half crowns were issued, including those struck as obsidional money, money of necessity during the Civil War period. Commonwealth of England: Oliver Cromwell silver half crowns were issued. During the years 1656 and 1658 milled half crowns were issued of Oliver Cromwell. King Charles II 1663–1685: silver half crowns were issued, this period saw the end of the hammered issue of half crowns. King James II 1685–1688: silver half crown. King William III & Queen Mary II 1689–1694: silver half crown. William III of England 1694–1702: silver half crown. Queen Anne 1702–1714: silver half crown.
King George I 1714–1727: silver half crown. King George II 1727–1760: silver half crown. King George III 1760–1820: silver half crown. King George IV 1820–1830: silver half crown. King William IV 1830–1837: silver half crown. Queen Victoria 1837–1901: silver half crown. King Edward VII 1902–1910: silver half crown. King George V 1910–1936: silver half crown, sterling silver until 1919 50% silver. King Edward VIII 1936: 50% silver half crown. Not issued for circulation. King George VI 1937–1952: 50% silver half crowns were issued until 1946 when the metal was changed to cupro-nickel. Queen Elizabeth II 1952–1970: the last half crown was issued in 1970 shortly before decimalisation. From George III, 1816, they had a diameter of 32 mm and a weight of 14.1 g, dimensions which remained the same for the half crown until decimalisation in 1971. The mintage figures below are taken from the annual UK publication COIN YEARBOOK. Proof mintages are indicated in italics. Half crown - View coins from the Commonwealth of England period, 1649–1660, including halfcrowns.
British Coins - Free information about British coins. Includes an online forum. Coins of the UK - A full history of the half crown. - Publishers of COIN YEARBOOK The History of the Half-crown
Farthing (British coin)
The British farthing coin, from "fourthing", was a unit of currency of one quarter of a penny, or 1⁄960 of a pound sterling. It was minted in bronze, replaced the earlier copper farthings, it was used during the reign of six monarchs: Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II, ceasing to be legal tender in 1960. It featured two different designs on its reverse during its 100 years in circulation: from 1860 until 1936, the image of Britannia. Like all British coinage, it bore the portrait of the monarch on the obverse. Before Decimal Day in 1971, there were 240 pence in one pound sterling. There were four farthings in a penny, 12 pence made a shilling, 20 shillings made a pound. Values less than a pound were written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. three shillings and six pence, pronounced "three and six" or "three and sixpence". Values of less than a shilling were written in pence, e.g. 8d, pronounced "eightpence". A price with a farthing in it would be written like this:, pronounced "nineteen and elevenpence farthing".
The purchasing power of a farthing from 1860 to its demise in 1960 ranged between 2p to 12p. The original reverse of the coin, designed by Leonard Charles Wyon, is a seated Britannia, holding a trident, with the word FARTHING above. Issues before 1895 feature a lighthouse to Britannia's left and a ship to her right. Various minor adjustments to the level of the sea depicted around Britannia, the angle of her trident were made over the years; some issues feature toothed edges. Over the years, seven different obverses were used. Edward VII, George V, George VI and Elizabeth II each had a single obverse for farthings produced during their respective reigns. Over the long reign of Queen Victoria two different obverses were used, the short reign of Edward VIII meant that no farthings bearing his likeness were issued; the farthing was first issued with the so-called "bun head", or "draped bust" of Queen Victoria on the obverse. The inscription around the bust read VICTORIA D G BRITT REG F D; this was replaced in 1895 by the "old head", or "veiled bust".
The inscription on these coins read VICTORIA DEI GRA BRITT REGINA FID DEF IND IMP. Coins issued during the reign of Edward VII feature his likeness and bear the inscription EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP; those issued during the reign of George V feature his likeness and bear the inscription GEORGIVS V DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP. A farthing of King Edward VIII does exist, dated 1937, but technically it is a pattern coin, i.e. one produced for official approval, which it would have been due to receive about the time that the King abdicated. The obverse shows a left-facing portrait of the king; the pattern coin of Edward VIII and regular-issue farthings of George VI and Elizabeth II feature a redesigned reverse displaying the wren, one of Britain's smallest birds. George VI issue coins feature the inscription GEORGIVS VI D G BR OMN REX F D IND IMP before 1949, GEORGIVS VI D G BR OMN REX FIDEI DEF thereafter. Unlike the penny, farthings were minted throughout the early reign of Elizabeth II, bearing the inscription ELIZABETH II DEI GRA BRITT OMN REGINA F D in 1953, ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA F D thereafter.
Pound sterling Mill British Coins – information about British coins Collection of copper & bronze pennies of Great Britain About Farthings A photographic collection of farthings Farthings Private Collection of farthings dating from 1799-1956
Nickel is a chemical element with symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel is hard and ductile. Pure nickel, powdered to maximize the reactive surface area, shows a significant chemical activity, but larger pieces are slow to react with air under standard conditions because an oxide layer forms on the surface and prevents further corrosion. So, pure native nickel is found in Earth's crust only in tiny amounts in ultramafic rocks, in the interiors of larger nickel–iron meteorites that were not exposed to oxygen when outside Earth's atmosphere. Meteoric nickel is found in combination with iron, a reflection of the origin of those elements as major end products of supernova nucleosynthesis. An iron–nickel mixture is thought to compose Earth's outer and inner cores. Use of nickel has been traced as far back as 3500 BCE. Nickel was first isolated and classified as a chemical element in 1751 by Axel Fredrik Cronstedt, who mistook the ore for a copper mineral, in the cobalt mines of Los, Hälsingland, Sweden.
The element's name comes from a mischievous sprite of German miner mythology, who personified the fact that copper-nickel ores resisted refinement into copper. An economically important source of nickel is the iron ore limonite, which contains 1–2% nickel. Nickel's other important ore minerals include pentlandite and a mixture of Ni-rich natural silicates known as garnierite. Major production sites include the Sudbury region in Canada, New Caledonia in the Pacific, Norilsk in Russia. Nickel is oxidized by air at room temperature and is considered corrosion-resistant, it has been used for plating iron and brass, coating chemistry equipment, manufacturing certain alloys that retain a high silvery polish, such as German silver. About 9% of world nickel production is still used for corrosion-resistant nickel plating. Nickel-plated objects sometimes provoke nickel allergy. Nickel has been used in coins, though its rising price has led to some replacement with cheaper metals in recent years. Nickel is one of four elements that are ferromagnetic at room temperature.
Alnico permanent magnets based on nickel are of intermediate strength between iron-based permanent magnets and rare-earth magnets. The metal is valuable in modern times chiefly in alloys. A further 10% is used for nickel-based and copper-based alloys, 7% for alloy steels, 3% in foundries, 9% in plating and 4% in other applications, including the fast-growing battery sector; as a compound, nickel has a number of niche chemical manufacturing uses, such as a catalyst for hydrogenation, cathodes for batteries and metal surface treatments. Nickel is an essential nutrient for some microorganisms and plants that have enzymes with nickel as an active site. Nickel is a silvery-white metal with a slight golden tinge, it is one of only four elements that are magnetic at or near room temperature, the others being iron and gadolinium. Its Curie temperature is 355 °C; the unit cell of nickel is a face-centered cube with the lattice parameter of 0.352 nm, giving an atomic radius of 0.124 nm. This crystal structure is stable to pressures of at least 70 GPa.
Nickel belongs to the transition metals. It is hard and ductile, has a high for transition metals electrical and thermal conductivity; the high compressive strength of 34 GPa, predicted for ideal crystals, is never obtained in the real bulk material due to the formation and movement of dislocations. The nickel atom has two electron configurations, 3d8 4s2 and 3d9 4s1, which are close in energy – the symbol refers to the argon-like core structure. There is some disagreement. Chemistry textbooks quote the electron configuration of nickel as 4s2 3d8, which can be written 3d8 4s2; this configuration agrees with the Madelung energy ordering rule, which predicts that 4s is filled before 3d. It is supported by the experimental fact that the lowest energy state of the nickel atom is a 3d8 4s2 energy level the 3d8 4s2 3F, J = 4 level. However, each of these two configurations splits into several energy levels due to fine structure, the two sets of energy levels overlap; the average energy of states with configuration 3d9 4s1 is lower than the average energy of states with configuration 3d8 4s2.
For this reason, the research literature on atomic calculations quotes the ground state configuration of nickel as 3d9 4s1. The isotopes of nickel range in atomic weight from 48 u to 78 u. Occurring nickel is composed of five stable isotopes. Isotopes heavier than 62Ni cannot be formed by nuclear fusion without losing energy. Nickel-62 has the highest mean nuclear binding energy per nucleon of any nuclide, at 8.7946 MeV/nucleon. Its binding energy is greater than both 56Fe and 58Fe, more abundant elements incorrectly cited as having the most tightly-bound nuclides. Although this would seem to predict nickel-62 as the most abundant heavy element in the universe, the high rate of photodisintegration of nickel in stellar interiors causes iron to be by far the most abundant. Stable isotope nickel-60 is the daughter product of the extinct radionuclide 60Fe, whi
Sovereign (British coin)
The sovereign is a gold coin of the United Kingdom, with a nominal value of one pound sterling. Struck from 1817 until the present time, it was a circulating coin accepted in Britain and elsewhere in the world. In most recent years, it has borne the well-known design of Saint George and the Dragon on the reverse—the initials of the designer, Benedetto Pistrucci, may be seen to the right of the date; the coin was named after the English gold sovereign, last minted about 1603, originated as part of the Great Recoinage of 1816. Many in Parliament believed a one-pound coin should be issued rather than the 21-shilling guinea struck until that time; the Master of the Mint, William Wellesley Pole, had Pistrucci design the new coin, his depiction was used for other gold coins. The coin was unpopular as the public preferred the convenience of banknotes, but paper currency of value £1 was soon limited by law. With that competition gone, the sovereign not only became a popular circulating coin, but was used in international trade and in foreign lands, trusted as a coin containing a known quantity of gold.
The British government promoted the use of the sovereign as an aid to international trade, the Royal Mint took steps to see that lightweight gold coins were withdrawn from circulation. From the 1850s until 1932, the sovereign was struck at colonial mints in Australia, in Canada, South Africa and India—they have been struck again in India since 2013 for the local market; the sovereigns issued in Australia carried a unique local design, but by 1887, all new sovereigns bore Pistrucci's George and Dragon design. Strikings there were so large that by 1900, about 40 per cent of the sovereigns in Britain had been minted in Australia. With the start of the First World War in 1914, the sovereign vanished from circulation in Britain, replaced by paper money, it did not return after the war, though issues at colonial mints continued until 1932; the coin was still used in the Middle East, demand rose in the 1950s, which the Royal Mint responded to by striking new sovereigns in 1957. It has been struck since both as a bullion coin and, beginning in 1979, for collectors.
Though the sovereign is no longer in circulation, it is still legal tender in the United Kingdom. There had been an English coin known as the sovereign, first authorised by Henry VII in 1489, it had a diameter of 42 millimetres, weighed 15.55 grams, twice the weight of the existing gold coin, the ryal. The new coin was struck in response to a large influx of gold into Europe from West Africa in the 1480s, Henry at first called it the double ryal, but soon changed the name to sovereign. Too great in value to have any practical use in circulation, the original sovereign served as a presentation piece to be given to dignitaries; the English sovereign, the country's first coin to be valued at one pound, was struck by the monarchs of the 16th century, the size and fineness being altered. James I, when he came to the English throne in 1603, issued a sovereign in the year of his accession, but the following year, soon after he proclaimed himself King of Great Britain and Ireland, he issued a proclamation for a new twenty-shilling piece.
About ten per cent lighter than the final sovereigns, the new coin was called the unite, symbolising that James had merged the Scottish and English crowns. In the 1660s, following the Restoration of Charles II and the mechanisation of the Royal Mint that followed, a new twenty-shilling gold coin was issued, it had no special name at first but the public soon nicknamed it the guinea and this became the accepted term. Coins were at the time valued by their precious metal content, the price of gold relative to silver rose soon after the guinea's issuance. Thus, it came to trade at 21 shillings or sixpence more. Popular in commerce, the coin's value was set by the government at 21 shillings in silver in 1717, was subject to revision downward, though in practice this did not occur; the term sovereign, referring to a coin, fell from use—it does not appear in Samuel Johnson's dictionary, compiled in the 1750s. This economy was disrupted by the Napoleonic Wars, gold was hoarded. Among the measures taken to allow trade to continue was the issuance of one-pound banknotes.
The public came to like them as more convenient than the odd-value guinea. After the war, Parliament, by the Coinage Act 1816, placed Britain on the gold standard, with the pound to be defined as a given quantity of gold; every speaker supported having a coin valued at twenty shillings, rather than continuing to use the guinea. The Coinage Act did not specify which coins the Mint should strike. A committee of the Privy Council recommended gold coins of ten shillings, twenty shillings, two pounds and five pounds be issued, this was accepted by George, Prince Regent on 3 August 1816; the twenty-shilling piece was named a sovereign, with the resurrection of the old name promoted by antiquarians with numismatic interests. William Wellesley Pole, elder brother of the Duke of Wellington, was appointed Master of the Mint in 1812, with a mandate to reform the Royal Mint. Pole had favoured retaining the guinea, due to the number extant and the amount of labour required to replace them with sovereigns.
Formal instruction to the Mint came with an indenture dated February 1817, directing the Royal Mint to strike gold coins weighing 7.988 grams, to say, the new sovereign. The Italian sculptor Benedetto Pistrucci came to London early in 1816, his talent opened the doors of
The guinea was a coin of one quarter ounce of gold, minted in Great Britain between 1663 and 1814. The name came from the Guinea region in West Africa, where much of the gold used to make the coins originated, it was the first English machine-struck gold coin worth one pound sterling, equal to twenty shillings, but rises in the price of gold relative to silver caused the value of the guinea to increase, at times to as high as thirty shillings. From 1717 to 1816, its value was fixed at twenty-one shillings; when Britain adopted the gold standard the guinea became a specialised term. Although the coin itself no longer circulated, the term guinea survived as a unit of account in some fields. Notable usages included professional fees, which were invoiced in guineas, horse racing and greyhound racing, the sale of rams. In each case a guinea meant an amount of one pound and one shilling, or one pound and five pence in decimalised currency; the name forms the basis for the Arabic word for the Egyptian pound الجنيه el-Genēh / el-Geni, as a sum of 100 qirsh was worth 21 shillings at the end of the 19th century.
The first guinea was produced on 6 February 1663. One troy pound of 11⁄12 fine gold would make 44 1⁄2 guineas, each thus theoretically weighing 129.438 grains. The denomination was worth one pound, or twenty shillings, but an increase in the price of gold during the reign of King Charles II led to the market trading it at a premium; the price of gold continued to increase in times of trouble, by the 1680s, the coin was worth 22 shillings. Indeed, in his diary entries for 13 June 1667, Samuel Pepys records that the price was 24 to 25 shillings; the diameter of the coin was 1 in throughout Charles II's reign, the average gold purity was 0.9100. "Guinea" was not an official name for the coin, but much of the gold used to produce the early coins came from Guinea in Africa. The coin was produced each year between 1663 and 1684, with the elephant appearing on some coins each year from 1663 to 1665 and 1668, the elephant and castle on some coins from 1674 onward; the elephant, with or without the castle, symbolises the Royal African Company, whose activities on the Guinea Coast of Africa resulted in the importation of much gold into England.
The obverse and reverse of this coin were designed by John Roettier. The obverse showed a fine right-facing bust of the king wearing a laurel wreath, surrounded by the legend CAROLVS II DEI GRATIA, while the reverse showed four crowned cruciform shields bearing the arms of England, Scotland and Ireland, between which were four sceptres, in the centre were four interlinked "C"s, surrounded by the inscription MAG BR FRA ET HIB REX; the edge was milled to deter clipping or filing, to distinguish it from the silver half-crown which had edge lettering. Until 1669 the milling was perpendicular to the edge, giving vertical grooves, while from 1670 the milling was diagonal to the edge. John Roettier continued to design the dies for this denomination in the reign of King James II. In this reign, the coins weighed 8.5 g with a diameter of 25–26 mm, were minted in all years between 1685 and 1688, with an average gold purity of 0.9094. Coins of each year were issued both without the elephant and castle mark.
The king's head faces left in this reign, is surrounded by the inscription IACOBVS II DEI GRATIA, while the reverse is the same as in Charles II's reign except for omitting the interlinked "C"s in the centre of the coin. The edge of the coins are milled diagonally. With the removal of James II in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, his daughter Mary and her husband Prince William of Orange reigned jointly as co-monarchs, their heads appear conjoined on the guinea piece in Roman style, with William's head uppermost, with the legend GVLIELMVS ET MARIA DEI GRATIA. In a departure from the previous reigns, the reverse featured a new design of a large crowned shield which bore the arms of England and France in the first and fourth quarters, of Scotland in the second quarter, of Ireland in the third quarter, the whole ensemble having a small shield in the centre bearing the rampant lion of Nassau. By the early part of this reign the value of the guinea had increased to nearly 30 shillings; the guineas of this reign weighed 8.5 g, were 25–26 mm in diameter, were the work of James and Norbert Roettier.
They were produced in all years between 1689 and 1694 both without the elephant and castle. Following the death of Queen Mary from smallpox in 1694, William continued to reign as William III; the guinea coin was produced in all years from 1695 to 1701, both with and without the elephant and castle, the design being the work of Johann Crocker known as John Croker, since James Roettier had died in 1698 and his brother Norbert had moved to France in 1695. The coins of William III's reign weighed 8.4 g with an average gold purity
Five pounds (British gold coin)
The five guineas gold coin started out life as a five-pound coin before the fluctuating value of the guinea settled at twenty-one shillings. However, the £5 coin tends to have a more modern'feel' and so is considered separately; the coin was issued in cased "proof" condition, circulated, as well as being issued in small quantities which today result in high values of many tens of thousands of pounds being achieved when a coin appears at auction. The normal weight of the denomination was 40 grams; the first appearance of the denomination was in the reign of George III, when it was produced in 1820 as a pattern. The obverse shows the right-facing bust of the king with the legend GEORGIUS III D. G. BRITANNIAR. REX F. D. date, while the reverse shows Benedetto Pistrucci's now famous St. George and dragon design with no legend; the edge is plain on the proof version. The next appearance of the denomination was in the reign of George IV, when it was produced in 1826 and 1829; the obverse shows the left-facing bust of the king with the legend GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA date, while the reverse shows a crowned shield within a mantle cape with the legend BRITANNIARUM REX FID DEF.
The 1826 coin has the edge inscription DECUS ET TUTAMEN ANNO REGNI SEPTIMO, while the 1829 coin has a plain edge. The next coin of this value did not appear until early in the reign of Queen Victoria, when one of the most famous and attractive of all British coins was produced, colloquially known as the Una and the Lion coin. Una and the Lion are characters in Spenser's The Faerie Queene, this five pounds piece has acquired a cult significance among collectors: the obverse shows the young head of the Queen, facing left with the legend VICTORIA D G BRITANNIARUM REGINA F D, while the reverse shows Queen Victoria as Una leading the lion to the left, with the legend DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS – May the Lord direct my steps – with the date MDCCCXXXIX in the exergue under the lion; the edge may either be plain. This issue is the lightest of all the £5 coins, weighing only 38.7–39.3 grams. The next appearance of the denomination was not until 1887, when the Jubilee head was used with the obverse inscription VICTORIA D G BRIT REG F D, while the reverse shows Pistrucci's design of Saint George slaying the dragon, with the only legend being the date in the exergue.
The edge of this coin is milled, it weighs 40 grams. This coin was produced in the mint at Sydney, identified by the letter "S" above the centre of the date; the Pistrucci reverse was used again in 1893, when the obverse used the "Old Head" or "Veil Head" of the queen, with the legend VICTORIA DEI GRA BRITT REGINA FID DEF IND IMP, the edge is again milled. In the reigns of Kings Edward VII, George V, George VI, five pound coins were only issued in proof sets in the first year of their reign. All these reigns used the Pistrucci George and Dragon obverse, with the 1902 and 1911 coins having milled edges, though at least some of the 1937 coins have plain edges; the 1902 Edward VII coin was minted at Sydney, being identified by an "S" above the centre of the date. The reign of Queen Elizabeth II saw a departure from the normal practice in issuing gold coinage. A small number of gold £5 pieces were struck in 1953 in order to provide continuity of the series, again in 1957, but neither of these strikings were released to the public, with the result that they are now valued in the £250,000–£500,000 range.
No further £5 gold pieces were struck until 1980, nine years after decimalisation, since when they have been issued somewhat haphazardly in most years. Coins from 1980 to 1984 use the Arnold Machin effigy of the Queen, while the 1985–1990 coins use the Raphael Maklouf effigy. All these years use the Pistrucci reverse. In 1989 a new design was used to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the first issue of the sovereign coin – the obverse shows the Queen seated on the coronation throne holding the orb and sceptre, with the legend ELIZABETH II DEI GRA REG FID DEF, while the reverse shows a crowned shield within a double rose and the legend ANNIVERSARY OF THE GOLD SOVEREIGN 1489–1989; the £ 5 coins are 36.02 mm in diameter in contrast to the commemorative ` crowns' diam. Since 1990 £5 coins have been produced in cupronickel, but premium versions in silver and gold are produced; these have been issued alongside new issues of the traditional Pistrucci-reverse five-pound gold coin, which have been produced in limited numbers in each year except 2002, when a special commemorative for the Golden Jubilee revived the shield reverse.
These "modern five pound coins" are a continuation of the crown, issued from 1544 as a five shilling coin. The modern five-pound issues are not issued for circulation, but to mark events or commemorations of national or Royal significance
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Following a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919, the day is marked by war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of First World War on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month", in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning; the First World War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919. The tradition of Remembrance Day evolved out of Armistice Day; the initial Armistice Day was observed at Buckingham Palace, commencing with King George V hosting a "Banquet in Honour of the President of the French Republic" during the evening hours of 10 November 1919.
The first official Armistice Day was subsequently held on the grounds of Buckingham Palace the following morning. During the Second World War, many countries changed the name of the holiday. Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations adopted Remembrance Day, while the US chose Veterans Day; the common British, South African, ANZAC tradition includes a one- or two-minute silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, as that marks the time when the armistice became effective. The Service of Remembrance in many Commonwealth countries includes the sounding of the "Last Post", followed by the period of silence, followed by the sounding of "Reveille" or sometimes just "The Rouse", finished by a recitation of the "Ode of Remembrance"; the "Flowers of the Forest", "O Valiant Hearts", "I Vow to Thee, My Country" and "Jerusalem" are played during the service. Services include wreaths laid to honour the fallen, a blessing, national anthems; the central ritual at cenotaphs throughout the Commonwealth is a stylised night vigil.
The Last Post was the common bugle call at the close of the military day, The Rouse was the first call of the morning. For military purposes, the traditional night vigil over the slain was not just to ensure they were indeed dead and not unconscious or in a coma, but to guard them from being mutilated or despoiled by the enemy, or dragged off by scavengers; this makes the ritual more than just an act of remembrance but a pledge to guard the honour of war dead. The act is enhanced by the use of dedicated cenotaphs and the laying of wreaths—the traditional means of signalling high honours in ancient Greece and Rome. In Australia, Remembrance Day is always observed on 11 November, regardless of the day of the week, is not a public holiday; some institutions observe two-minutes' silence at 11 am through a programme named Read 2 Remember, children read the Pledge of Remembrance by Rupert McCall and teachers deliver specially developed resources to help children understand the significance of the day and the resilience of those who have fought for their country and call on children to be resilient when facing difficult times.
Services are held at 11 am at war memorials and schools in suburbs and cities across the country, at which the "Last Post" is sounded by a bugler and a one-minute silence is observed. In recent decades, Remembrance Day has been eclipsed as the national day of war commemoration by ANZAC Day, a public holiday in all states; when Remembrance Day falls on a normal working day in Melbourne and other major cities, buglers from the Australian Defence Force play the "Last Post" at major street corners in the CBD. While this occurs, the majority of passers-by stop and observe a moment of silence while waiting for the bugler to finish the recital. In Barbados, Remembrance Day is not a public holiday, it is recognised as 11 November, but the parade and ceremonial events are carried out on Remembrance Sunday. The day is celebrated to recognise the Barbadian soldiers who died fighting in the First and Second World Wars; the parade is held at National Heroes' Square. The Governor-General and Barbadian Prime Minister are among those who attend, along with other government dignitaries and the heads of the police and military forces.
During the main ceremony a gun salute and prayers are performed at the war memorial Cenotaph at the heart of Heroes' Square in Bridgetown. In Belize, Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November, it is not a public holiday. In Bermuda, which sent the first colonial volunteer unit to the Western Front in 1915, which had more people per capita in uniform during the Second World War than any other part of the Empire, Remembrance Day is still an important holiday; the parade in Hamilton had been a large and colourful one, as contingents from the Royal Navy, British Regular Army and Territorial Army units of the Bermuda Garrison, the Canadian Forces, the US Army, Air Force, Navy, various cadet corps and other services all at one time or another marched with the veterans. Since the closing of British and American bases in 1995, the parade has grown smaller. In addition to the ceremony held in the City of Hamilton on Remembrance Day itself, marching to the Cenotaph, where wreaths are laid and ora