Plans in place for a safe Remembrance Sunday in Plymouth

Plymouth’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations will look slightly different this year, as the city adapts to ensure that everyone is able to follow the COVID-19 safety guidelines.

There will not be a public Remembrance Service on Plymouth Hoe this year. The service usually attracts thousands of attendees so it would not be possible to maintain social distancing and would put vulnerable people, including veterans, at risk.

Instead a service at HMS Drake, attended by the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, will be streamed online and shared through the Plymouth City Council social media channels on Sunday 8 November for people to watch safely from home.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Chris Mavin, the Naval Base Commander, Commodore Peter Coulson, and representatives from the Lord Lieutenancy and Commonwealth War Graves Commission will also privately lay wreaths at the Royal Naval Memorial on Remembrance Sunday. The Lord Mayor and Naval Base Commander will then lay a wreath at the Polish Memorial at the Belvedere.

The Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Darren Winter, will lead organisations in privately laying wreaths at the Civilian Memorial.

This year, people across the country are being encouraged to pay their respects from home and take part in the two-minute silence at 11am safely from their doorsteps. Anyone who chooses to visit the memorials on Plymouth Hoe is asked to stay safe and reminded to follow the current social distancing guidelines.

The Lord Mayor said: “We are enormously proud of our military heritage in Plymouth and Remembrance Day is a very important date in our civic calendar, giving us all chance to reflect, remember and honour those who have lost their lives.

“While this year has thrown many challenges our way, we have safely marked the 75th anniversaries of VE Day and VJ Day and the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and we will be doing the same this Remembrance Sunday. While we cannot all be together, we can still remember all those who gave so much and I’d invite you all to watch our Remembrance Service online and take part in the two minute silence at 11am. If you do choose to visit the memorials on Plymouth Hoe, we’d ask you try and visit at different times of the day in order to help protect the most vulnerable amongst us.”   

Area Manager Susanne Archard from The Royal British Legion said: “The Royal British Legion supports following all the advice Plymouth City Council is offering about this year’s remembrance on the Hoe. Plymouth is doing a wonderful job ensuring that remembrance can still be observed in some ways.

“Sadly COVID-19 does mean many of us will be not to be able to come together to honour the lives of those who fought and served past and present. Our service personnel have worked hard alongside key workers to keep us safe during this pandemic, now it’s time for us to also keep each other safe. So wherever you are, you can show your support by sharing the two minute silence at 11am, knowing many others across the city are doing the same.”