SA’s gift to the world: South African origins of ‘2 Minutes Silence’

SA’s gift to the world: South African origins of ‘2 Minutes Silence’

- "2 Minutes Silence" is an integral part of Armistice Day, which remembers the end of WWI

- The man who proposed it was a South African named Sir Percy Fitzpatrick

- His proposal reached King George V of the United Kingdom, who officially approved it

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For decades, "2 Minutes of Silence" has been an integral part of Armistice Day, which commemorates the end of World War I (WWI) in 1918.

Germany signed the Armistice on 11 November, 1918, signalling the end of the war. Since 1919, the British Commonwealth has observed two minutes of silence at 11am every November.

The man who proposed the idea of "2 Minutes Silence" was a South African, Sir Percy Fitzpatrick. He is famously known as the author of "Jock of the Bushveld."

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sapeople.com reports that Fitzpatrick was deeply affected by the war because his son, Major Nugent Fitzpatrick, perished in it.

Cape Town was already observing the "midday pause," or three minutes of silence that followed the "midday gun," which went off at 12:00 noon every day.

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The WWI guns officially fell silent at 11:00 on the 11th day of the 11th month (November) in 1918, Briefly.co.za gathered.

Fitzpatrick therefore felt that observing two minutes of silence at this particular moment every year would have a greater impact.

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He therefore suggested this in a letter to Lord Alfred Milner, South Africa's colonial administrator at the time. Lord Milner then forwarded this to King George V of the United Kingdom.

Kind George approved and decreed "2 Minutes of Silence" throughout the British Commonwealth as from 1919. This became South Africa's gift to the world as far as Remembrance Day is concerned.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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