BURIAL
On the morning of 11 November the Admirals and Field Marshals arrived to accompany the coffin, which was carried, on a gun carriage to Westminster Abbey. On its way it stopped at the new and now permanent Cenotaph, which the King unveiled at 11 o’clock after which the procession moved on to the Abbey. There, 100 holders of the Victoria Cross lined the nave.


The Passing of the Unknown Warrior, 11 November 1920. This conventional and hugely popular painting by Frank Salisbury, unlike Orpen's less comfortable view, toured the country to great acclaim.

The Royal Family and members of parliament had pride of place but the majority of the congregation was made up of widows and mothers who lost husbands and sons. The coffin was placed in the previously prepared grave near the entrance together with hundreds of sandbags of earth from all the main battlefields; a large slab of black marble – a gift from Belgium – was placed on top. The event was not without criticism

from the Daily Herald
Who organized the pageant?
Politicians, press and pulpit. The people who helped make war, who prolonged war, who grew rich out of war. The Man who Won the War. These men have the supreme piece of impudence to issue special tickets to themselves to view the obsequies of their victim.
While the great pageant is thus used for the emotional doping of the people, other and named victims, hundreds and thousands of them, plead in vain for even what they had before the war. They are workless and beg on the streets.
I understand all the big restaurants are providing, as the second part of the day's festivities, elaborate dinners with special increased prices.’
:: don't forget the living unknown




DON’T FORGET THE UNKNOWN WARRIORS LIVING TODAY
25,000 of London’s unemployed ex servicemen marched to the cenotaph to lay a wreath:
Whitehall and the streets surrounding it were densely packed with mourners and sightseers. This time they saw a sight that they had never seen before. As the banners of the various contingents were raised ready for the march, it was seen that each banner had hundreds of thousands of ex-service men’s medals pinned on to it. Thousands of ex service took pawn tickets out of their pockets and pinned them on the lapel of their coats. The bands of unemployed movement were draped in red and black and at the head of our procession was carried a large wreath with an inscription that read: “From the living victims – the unemployed – to our comrades who died in vain.”

This kind of criticism reemerged stronger still in the next few years but the following day the Daily Herald reported ‘As we stood there in silence while the muffled drums began to whisper, as it were a million miles away and grew and grew into the sound of rushing wind, the stone atrocities faded, the vulgarity and bad taste were forgotten, the pomp and circumstance forgiven.’

It was the civilian bereaved, particularly the women, who felt the emotion about the ‘Tomb of the Unknown Warrior’. Ex-servicemen, unsurprisingly, seem to have felt little towards the ‘Unknown Warrior’ – they had, after all, seen a lot of unknown bodies and body parts.
An elderly lady brought a wreath of chrysanthemums to the Cenotaph after having been informed by a clairvoyant that the bones of her son lay under the tomb of the Unknown Warrior in the Abbey.