Fringe Box



Scaled-down Service Maintains Remembrance Sunday Traditions

Published on: 8 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 9 Nov, 2020

Col Crowley salutes at Guildford’s war memorial having laid his wreath. Photo: Guildford Borough Council.

By Martin Giles

A scaled-down, mid-pandemic, Remembrance Service was held at Guildford’s war memorial in the Castle Grounds this morning (November 8) attended by only 30 invited representatives.

Members of the public gathered outside the gates, apparently to be as close as possible to the ceremony to honour those who had died in conflict in the First World War onwards.

Some of those who had gathered by the gates of the Castle Grounds.

With fewer present in the Castle Grounds, and a background of overcast skies, the sombre nature of the occasion was accentuated. One attendee said she found it, “poignant and thought-provoking.”

The service was conducted by the Rev’d Canon Robert Cotton. Civic representatives included the Deputy Mayor of Guildford, Marsha Moseley; council Leader Joss Bigmore and James Wightman, the council’s managing director.

The were joined by Guildford’s MP, Angela Richardson and Colonel (Retd) Patrick Crowley, representing the armed forces.

There were also representatives of the Royal British Legion, Surrey Police, the Salvation Army, Scouts, St John Ambulance and a number of veterans.

As tradition dictates, Last Post was sounded to precede two minutes’ silence and then Reveille to bring it to conclusion.

In a change from previous ceremonies, Colonel Crowley of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment recalled the involvement in the Second War War and Korean War of local regiments and of all the armed services and their civilian counterparts.

Civic representatives from left: the Deputy Mayor of Guildford, Marsha Moseley; the managing director of Guildford Borough Council, James Whiteman; the leader of Guildford Borough Council, Joss Bigmore; Col Patrick Crowley. Photo: Guildford Borough Council.

The service concluded with the socially distanced congregation singing the national anthem.

While some were cancelled small, outdoor services were also held in some villages across the borough such as the one below at Effingham.

A short, poignant and socially distanced Remembrance Sunday service at St Lawrence Church Effingham. Photo Chris Dick.

Chris Dick writes:

No more than around a dozen turned out for an overcast and subdued Remembrance Day Service at St Lawrence Church in Effingham.
The usual parade along Church Street was missing, the scouts were missing, and with the closure of the local British Legion Club, their members were also missing.
Instead, there was a short poignant and socially distanced service. The former parish chairman Arnold Pindar read out the familiar words along with Rev’d Mandy MacVean who took the service.
The young bugler played Last Post as two standards were slowly lowered.
In a strange way, the lack of people, no traffic and just the pigeons cooing in the background, made the service memorable.
We shall remember them.

Public service key workers mark Remembrance Sunday differently due to Covid-19

Surrey’s public service key workers have marked Remembrance Sunday by joining forces for a video showing their appreciation.

A Surrey County Council spokesperson said: “The video refers the Covid-19 pandemic as a ‘different fight in our hands’ and reminds all of us that ‘in this test, let’s remember those who made us free’.

“Key workers within the short film include representatives from Surrey County Council, Surrey Fire & Rescue Service, NHS Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group, Surrey Heath Borough Council, Gosden House School, Surrey Police, South East Coast Ambulance Service, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, and East Surrey College.”

See also: Dragon Interview: Col Patrick Crowley, On His Book ‘Infantry Diehards’

and To the Memory of the Forgotten Who Died Harder Than Others

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