THE MAYOR of Rugby has called on residents to mark Remembrance Sunday safely at home after the town’s traditional service was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Restrictions to stop the spread of the virus have forced Rugby Borough Council to cancel the public parade and service of remembrance at the War Memorial gates at Whitehall Recreation Ground.
A small, civic ceremony led by the Rector of Rugby, the Reverend Canon Edmund Newey, takes place at the War Memorial gates on Remembrance Sunday November 8.
The short service will be limited to just six guests to ensure compliance with coronavirus restrictions – but residents will be able to watch it streamed live on the council’s website.
Following the sounding of the Last Post and a two minute silence at 11am, the Mayor Bill Lewis and other guests will lay wreaths at the memorial gates.
This week, the council launched Rugby Remembers to encourage residents to mark Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day safely.
In addition to broadcasting the remembrance service online, the council has designed Rugby Remembers posters for residents to download and display in windows at home – including a poster for children to colour in.
And Coun Lewis has urged Rugbeians to support the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and join the two minute silence on Remembrance Sunday from the safety of home.
He said: “The coronavirus pandemic has reminded us all of the tremendous debt of gratitude we owe to all those who serve to protect us and our country.
“Our armed forces serve our country around the world, all year round – brave, selfless work which keeps us safe and protects our national interests.
“Remembrance Sunday gives us all the opportunity to reflect on the historic sacrifices made by so many in the service of our country, and the sacrifices so many make to this day.
“But while it’s important Rugby Remembers, it’s equally important we all stay safe, protect our family and friends, and do our bit to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“By marking Remembrance Sunday at home this year, we can all hope for the return of our traditional parade and service of remembrance in 2021.”
Members of the public have been invited to lay wreaths at the War Memorial gates from 1pm on Remembrance Sunday. Residents have been encouraged to respect social distancing when visiting the memorial.
On Armistice Day (Wednesday November 11), the council has arranged for maroons to be fired in Caldecott Park to mark the beginning and end of a two minute silence – 11am and 11.02am.
Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/rugbyremembers to download Rugby Remembers posters and to watch the Remembrance Sunday ceremony live.