People told not to attend town’s Remembrance Sunday event due to coronavirus

Dereham's war memorial. Picture: Noah Vickers

Dereham's war memorial. Picture: Noah Vickers - Credit: Archant

People in a market town looking to pay respects to the fallen are being advised not to attend their local Remembrance Sunday event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Before the government’s announcement of a second national lockdown on Saturday, Dereham Town Council had already been preparing for a sparsely-attended laying of wreaths at its war memorial.

In a statement on its website, the town council said it is “acutely aware that Remembrance Sunday is a very important day for the residents of Dereham, and we hope that any prevailing Covid-19 restrictions will allow us to mark this very important day with dignity and respect.”

This year, there will be no parade through the town centre and no church service, though a two minute silence and prayer will be observed as normal at the war memorial.

“In order that as many people as possible can participate in the service remotely and safely,” said the council, “the Act of Remembrance will be live streamed on Dereham Town Council’s YouTube channel” and members of the public were “advised” not to attend the ceremony, “in line with new restrictions”.

The statement added: “We hope that we have been able to strike the right balance between being able to demonstrate the town’s commitment to Remembrance while ensuring that people attending the Act of Remembrance are themselves kept safe.”

In addition, wreaths will be laid by the civic dignitaries, representatives of the uniformed services and representatives from the British Armed Forces only.

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In total, 13 representatives have been selected for wreath-laying, including Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman, town mayor Stuart Green and Phillip Duigan, Breckland councillor.

His Honour Phillip Curl will be wreath-laying on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant.

Other organisations represented include the Royal British Legion, the Parachute Regiment, the Royal Anglian Regiment, the Light Dragoons, the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, the Royal Air Force Association, the Burma Star Association and the Far East Prisoners of War Association.

The live-streamed service is due to begin at 10.50am.