PAYING our respects to the fallen on Remembrance Sunday is a solemn duty but this year it proved to be a little different.
Government Covid restrictions, whilst allowing events to take place, actively discouraged attendance. Royal British Legion events across the nation were cancelled with veterans and public alike asked to participate in personal and remote acts of Remembrance. The Cenotaph commemorations in London were dramatically scaled back with the veterans’ marchpast reduced from the usual 10,000 to just 26.
Yet on Sunday morning veterans and members of the public alike were not discouraged. Memorials across the country were attended, parades and services took place and respects paid to the fallen.
One such event was organised by a group of veterans codenamed 08 1030Z NOV20, standing for 1030 Zulu (GMT) November 8, 2020. It is telling that even though Covid restrictions were followed, a detailed risk assessment completed and all the required precautions taken, they prefer to remain anonymous fearing establishment reprisal with the injustice of an undeserved £10,000 fine.
Veterans and members of the public including Laurence Fox, leader of the Reclaim Party, and Martin Daubney, former MEP and presenter of Unlocked formed up in Green Park and paraded to the Royal Artillery Memorial Hyde Park Corner. The parade was cheered along by the public and supported by the police who stopped traffic allowing a safe crossing across Duke of Wellington Place.
Editor’s postscript: Others did not escape police harassment. This video shows a piper and members of the public being prevented from watching the Cenotaph ceremony.