In Pictures: 100 years since the burial of the Unknown Warrior

By PA reporters
·2-min read

A service is being held at London’s Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior.

The televised service, to be attended by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, will commemorate the funeral of an unknown British serviceman whose body was brought back from Northern France.

He was buried at the west end of the abbey’s nave on November 11 2020 to represent all those who lost their lives in the First World War but whose place of death was unknown or body never found.

British Royal Family – King George V – Burial of the Unknown Warrior – 1920
King George V pays his tribute as he placed a wreath on the coffin, mounted on a gun carriage, in Whitehall where the Cenotaph stands (PA)
Crowds lined the streets of Boulogne in France as the coffin carrying the Unknown Warrior begins its journey to Westminster Abbey (PA)
Wars and Conflicts – World War One – The Unknown Warrior – Dover
Royal Navy Bluejackets guard the coffin aboard HMS Verdun as it sailed from France (PA)
Body of Unkown Soldier Taken to Abbey : 1920
The coffin being carried into the abbey (PA)
Buildings and Landmarks – The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior – Westminster Abbey
It is not known where in France the British soldier died, nor when, and he symbolises all the unknown dead of the First World War, no matter where they fell (PA)

The grave, which contains soil from France, is covered by a slab of black Belgian marble. It is set in the abbey’s nave by the Great West Door.

The Queen visited the grave of the Unknown Warrior last week to mark 100 years since he was interred (Aaron Chown/PA)
The Queen visited the grave of the Unknown Warrior last week to mark 100 years since he was interred (Aaron Chown/PA)
Armistice Day 2020
Women from the National Association of Flower Arrangers arrange laurel on the grave ahead of Wednesday’s service (Aaron Chown/PA)
Armistice Day events
The Queen looks on as Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry (left) and Trooper Mark Donaldson, who both hold the Victoria Cross, lay a wreath on Armistice Day in 2009 (PA)
Japanese Emperor Akihito watches as a wreath is laid on his behalf in 1998 (PA)
President Obama state visit to UK- Day One
US president Barack Obama, watched by his wife Michelle, during a wreath-laying during his three-day state visit to the UK in 2011 (PA)

The late Queen Mother established the tradition of royal brides sending their wedding bouquets to the abbey to be placed on the grave.

Royalty – Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer Wedding – London
Stuart Holmes, deputy registrar of Westminster Abbey, places the bridal bouquet from Princes Diana following her wedding to Charles in 1981 (PA)
Sophie bouquet/Unknown Warrior
The Dean of Westminster Dr Wesley Carr kneels behind the bridal bouquet of the Countess of Wessex in 1999 (PA)
Royal wedding
The Duchess of Sussex continued the tradition after her 2018 wedding (Victoria Jones/PA)
Princess Eugenie wedding
The wedding bouquet of Princess Eugenie in 2018 (John Stillwell/PA)