The Journey of the Unknown Soldier
15th November 2022
Presented by Ruth Polling
One hundred years ago, on the morning of the 11th November 1920, the funeral procession of Britain’s Unknown Warrior made its way through London, passing thousands of people – mothers, children, wives and veterans, all of whom had lost someone close during the Great War
Our virtual walk follows the route of the funeral procession from Victoria Station to Westminster Abbey and explores the story of the Unknown Warrior and how a landscape of remembrance was created by a nation reeling with collective and personal grief.
Our guide, Ruth Polling, will take us through the story of Remembrance Day, from the importance of naming the dead on local war memorials to the story of how the nation came together for the first two minutes silence in 1919. We’ll hear how two remarkable women, neither British, turned the red poppy into the symbol of remembrance that we still wear today. We’ll discover how a cenotaph (empty tomb) that was designed to last for only one week, became our national war memorial and why the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner was so controversial.
Ruth has been a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide since 2014. She is an International History graduate from the London School of Economics specialising in 20th Century war and diplomacy and brings this knowledge to guiding First and Second World War tours focused on the home front and the impact of the wars on London. She previously worked in London politics and in addition to guiding Ruth now lectures and runs training courses on London history and politics