CENOTAPH PARADE - UPDATE
03 November 2020
The Royal British Legion continues to work with DCMS, the MoD and others to define the parameters for the annual Remembrance Sunday event on Whitehall given the ongoing restrictions in place to minimise the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In light of the risks posed by Covid-19, and as we communicated on Wednesday 14 October, the annual Remembrance Sunday March Past the Cenotaph will not take place this year. This decision has been taken based on expert advice to protect the health and well-being of those who would have been travelling to and participating in the event. The Government led Remembrance Service at the Cenotaph will continue to go ahead as a closed ceremony.
Despite the changes this year, DCMS have asked that The Royal British Legion find a way to represent the veteran community as attendees at the service, with a maximum attendance of up to 30 individuals. As I’m sure you can appreciate, this is a difficult task given the depth and breadth of the Armed Forces community. We have looked to the membership of our Association Stakeholder Group, whom we consult and collaborate closely with to ensure a broad reach across the military services and related veteran organisations in March Past related decisions.
For every veteran who would have participated in the March Past, we hope that we have reflected your service through the representation of the service Associations. Those included are COBSEO, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Merchant Navy Association, Royal Air Force Association, The Royal British Legion, Royal Commonwealth Ex Services League, Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Naval Association, Royal Marines Association, Transport for London and War Widows Association.
We will continue to gather your messages of Remembrance to be written on wreaths and laid at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday via this link until Sunday 1 November. If you have already purchased a wreath to lay at the Cenotaph, we recommend that you lay this at a local memorial or save it for future commemorations, and encourage you to submit a message via the link for a wreath to be laid at the Cenotaph in London on your behalf.
To help replicate in some way the connection our community has lost this year, The Royal British Legion is partnering with BFBS Radio to deliver a morning of memories and shared stories from 1000 to 1200 during their Access All Areas show hosted by Jess Bracey. Although we are unable to stand side by side in Remembrance this year, throughout the programme BFBS Radio and The Royal British Legion will bring together veterans and service personnel across generations to share experiences and reflect on what Remembrance Sunday means to them.
We are encouraging you all to join us on Remembrance Sunday as we come together in a different way this year. The programme is available to listen to live via the BFBS Radio website, or on digital radio.
Local Remembrance Services - Since Covid-19 measures first came into effect, The Royal British Legion has instructed our branches that all activity undertaken by our members must be conducted in accordance with national and local government guidelines. We are encouraging our branches and members to continue supporting local Remembrance services and parades that follow government guidelines and only where social distancing measures can be fully adhered to. Whilst local Remembrance services and parades are important for people to pay tribute to our Armed Forces community, the safety and well-being of members of the public who attend or participate must remain the priority.
Note: Local Remembrance services and parades are civic functions that are attended and supported by The Royal British Legion, and whilst we are happy to be consulted and provide assistance to organisers, the Legion is not responsible for, nor takes decisions regarding the delivery of these events.
Best wishes, Commemorative Events Team