Town’s Remembrance Day parade limited to just five people due to Covid-19 risks
PUBLISHED: 13:52 25 September 2020 | UPDATED: 18:39 25 September 2020
A town’s annual Remembrance Day parade – usually made up of 500 people with around 2,000 spectators – has been limited to just five people and those wanting to observe and show their respects are being asked to stay at home.
The ceremony through Broad and High Street in March will be stripped back “to the absolute minimum” this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A risk assessment, a copy of which was sent to this newspaper, reveals even the bugler player must stay at least 20 metres away from anyone else – while not facing them too – in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.
In a letter to councillors, Major Nigel Spencer, parade marshal, said: “Forgive the mass email but I simply haven’t got the time or ability to email you all individually.
“The organisation of the March Town Remembrance Parade involves nearly 200 main players such is the size of the Remembrance events within March.
“Due to COVID19 we have had to reduce the March Town Sunday Remembrance Parade and Armistice Day Parade down to the absolute minimum.
“Instead of having 500 people taking part and two thousand spectators there will be five people on parade and we are asking spectators not to parade.
“Instead we are asking them to show their support by standing outside their homes at 1100hrs on 8/11 Nov 2020.
“We simply can’t put people at risk by having a mass gathering, the safety of everyone taking part or supporting Remembrance is our main priority.”
Major Spence goes on to explain how holding the ceremony as they normally do each year would be “irresponsible” and it would be classed as a “mass gathering”.
He added: “Rest assured; this decision wasn’t taken lightly on the August 15 2020.
“On behalf of the President of the March Branch of the Royal British Legion can I ask you all to embrace the plan and publish the plan.
“We are after buglers who can play the “Last Post” on the 8/11 Nov 2020, the plan is to position around March and play as the town’s Clock strikes 1100hrs.
“If anyone would like to volunteer please make contact.
“We are also trying to get the parade videoed so we can stream the event on social media, if anyone can help with this please make contact.”
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