It will ring 11 times at 11am to commemorate the moment WWI ended 100 years ago, before sounding 11 times again at 12.30pm along with other bells in churches and cathedrals across the globe, which will be ringing simultaneously as part of a campaign organised by the British and German governments.
As part of the initiative marking the centenary year, 1,400 new bell-ringers have been recruited to mirror the 1,400 bell-ringers who died during the war.
The iconic 159-year-old clock tower is still undergoing renovation work, which means the bell has been out of action since August 2017, having being disconnected from the clock mechanism.
The bell was temporarily reconnected to mark the new year for 2018, but the entire mechanism was then completely removed for the work to continue.
The historic bell also didn’t ring throughout the war – but broke its silence on Armistice Day.
According to the Evening Standard, a bespoke electric mechanism has been built to power the 200kg striking hammer, so as to ensure that Big Ben can chime for both Remembrance Sunday and this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations.
It’s expected that the essential maintenance work will continue until 2021 – which may seem like a long time, but parliament has said it’s necessary so that it doesn’t deafen repair workers.
A spokeswoman said: “The chimes are being stopped to provide a safe environment for the people working on the scaffolding.
“Constant proximity to the chimes would pose a serious risk to their hearing, and would prevent efficient working.
“People will be working on the scaffolding day-in, day-out throughout the works, and, while protective headgear could be provided, it is not desirable for individuals working at height to have their hearing obscured as there is concern the ability to hear each other and any alarms could be affected.”
Big Ben is still undergoing renovation work, but will ring on Remembrance Sunday and New Year’s Eve. Credit: PA
Steve Jaggs, Keeper of the Great Clock of Westminster, said: “Big Ben falling silent is a significant milestone in this crucial conservation project.
“As Keeper of the Great Clock I have the great honour of ensuring this beautiful piece of Victorian engineering is in top condition on a daily basis.
“This essential programme of works will safeguard the clock on a long-term basis, as well as protecting and preserving its home – the Elizabeth Tower. Members of the public are welcome to mark this important moment by gathering in Parliament Square to hear Big Ben’s final bongs until they return in 2021.”
The clock will be dismantled, examined, repaired and rebuilt piece by piece. However, one face will apparently always remain visible throughout.
Featured Image Credit: PA