Remembrance events reduced due to coronavirus

REMEMBRANCE Sunday commemorations in and around Woking this year have been reduced to small, invitation-only events because of coronavirus.

The annual mass gathering in the town centre will be replaced by a short ceremony in which Beryl Hunwicks, the Mayor of Woking, will lay a wreath, followed by the Royal British Legion and then from invited guests.

The window display of funeral home Lodge Brothers in Goldsworth Road last year, dressed for Remembrance Day and marking the tributes to the fallen in all conflicts

Members of the public and other groups are being asked to stay away from the ceremony, but to make their tributes in a safe away later. Jubilee Square will be closed to the public from 10am to noon.

A council spokesman said: “We know that for many it will be a disappointment that you cannot attend in person. However, you will be able to attend the war memorial, in person, later in the day, either alone or in groups of up to six.”

The Woking event will be stream live on the council’s website, www.woking.gov.uk, and can watched there later.

Cadets form a guard of honour at the four corners of the war memorial in Jubilee Square at last year’s Remembrance commemorations

Similar conditions are being made around the borough with six people laying wreaths at the Byfleet war memorial at 10.45am on Sunday. They will include local councillors, Scouts, Guides and other local groups.

Residents who want to lay their own wreaths will be allowed to do so from 11,15am after a short service and two-minute silence.

The annual wreath-laying and service at St Andrew’s Church in Goldsworth Park has been replaced by a COVID-safe poppy hunt.

“We’re doing it because Remembrance Day will be different in Goldsworth Park this year, with no parade or large outdoor gathering,” said Karin Rayner, children and families worker at St Andrew’s Church.

Pat Tedder, the Mayor of Surrey Heath, will lay a wreath at the Camberley Cenotaph.

Cllr Tedder, a Chobham borough and parish councillor, will lead the small, socially-distanced event.

A borough council spokesman said: “In line with lockdown regulations, members of the public are strongly discouraged from gathering at the cenotaph when it takes place.

“We will be releasing official photos on our social media channels after the event.

The Mayor of Woking, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, lays her wreath at the Woking war memorial at last year’s Remembrance commemorations

“If they wish to, we encourage all residents to observe two minutes silence on their doorstep, or in their homes, at 11am on Remembrance Sunday, and on Armistice Day, on 11 November.”

The Royal British Legion is asking people to consider different ways of donating to the Poppy Appeal because of coronavirus restrictions.

A spokesman said: “The reduction in collectors makes running the Poppy Appeal much harder, but the Legion still has a job to do. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods and way of life, leaving some in the Armed Forces community in dire need of urgent help and support.

“People may have to do something different to support the appeal this year, including taking part in remote activity like ordering poppies through the post for your neighbours and local community, printing a poppy and displaying it in your window, or undertaking a virtual Poppy Run.”

* FOR more information, visit www.rbl.org.uk/poppyappeal.

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