Veterans mark Armistice Day at the National Memorial Arboretum

ITV News Central reporter Callum Watkinson went to the National Memorial Arboretum.

Hundreds of veterans, serving personnel and members of the public marked Armistice Day at the National Memorial Arboretum today.

The arboretum's Armed Forces Memorial, at Alrewas, near Lichfield in Staffordshire, was the focus of a service of reflection.

Thousands of junior school children watched a live stream of the service as part of the Remembrance Live Assembly project.

Schools introduced the project to teach youngsters about why the nation remembers people who died serving their country.

Sergeant Adam Sefton and his son Mac, looking at the names inscribed on the Armed Forces Memorial at Alrewas Credit: Jacob King/PA

More than 16,000 names of service personnel killed on active duty, since the end of the Second World War, were inscribed in the memorial.

The ceremony was one of dozens across the country marking 104 years since the First World War came to a close.

Mark Ellis, the arboretum's lead, told those gathered it was a time to “remember those who served and sacrificed for our country”.

After the act of remembrance, trustee of the Royal British Legion Anny Reid delivered the exhortation – “We will remember them”.

Members of the armed forces, veterans and the public observe a two-minute silence Credit: Jacob King/PA

Then the lone bugler from the Band of The Rifles played The Last Post with its final notes marking the beginning of the two minutes’ silence.

Reveille was sounded, and the Defence Minister Alex Chalk read the Kohima Epitaph.

Afterwards, the focus shifted to the central plinth of the Armed Forces Memorial, with wreath-laying, led by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, members of the emergency services and the MP for Lichfield, Michael Fabricant.

Later, the Duke and Duchess put the finishing touches to the planting of an oak tree on the site, which forms part of the Queen’s Canopy – a nationwide project to plant more than a million trees marking the late monarch’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester plant a tree for the Queen’s Canopy Credit: Jacob King/PA

Earlier, Army veteran Major Rob Cross spoke about the importance of the Poppy Appeal and Armistice Day.

Retiring in 1997, he is the third generation of his family to have served with the Army.

As a Royal Engineer, his postings included three years in Aden in the Middle East in the 1960s, and in the latter part of his career he was awarded a disaster relief medal by the King of Nepal, after playing his part rebuilding and laying new bridges in the country after flooding in 1994.

Major Rob Cross spoke about the importance of the Poppy Appeal Credit: Richard Vernalls/PA

The now volunteer at the national memorial said: “For me it’s also important we continue to have remembrance on a day-to-day basis, so it’s nice for me to see the children coming to this site, as part of school visits.”

Mr Cross, from Staffordshire, who designed and oversaw building of the arboretum site’s Gurkha Memorial, said: “It’s humbling to come here, and to see people grieving, paying their respects and marking these moments.”