On the first anniversary of the armistice in 1919, two minutes' silence was instituted as part of the main commemorative ceremony at the new Cenotaph in London.
Australian journalist Edward Honey proposed the silence. At about the same time, a South African statesman made a similar proposal to the British Cabinet, which endorsed it.
King George V personally requested all the people of the British Empire suspend normal activities for two minutes on the hour of the Armistice 'which stayed the worldwide carnage of the four preceding years and marked the victory of Right and Freedom'. The two minutes silence was popularly adopted and it became a central feature of commemorations of Armistice Day.
In 1997, Governor-General Sir William Deane issued a proclamation formally declaring 11 November to be Remembrance Day, urging all Australians to observe one minute's silence at 11 am on 11 November each year to remember those who died or suffered for Australia's cause in all wars and armed conflicts.