Remembrance and Armistice Day events in Bedford Borough

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Bedford Borough Council, the Bedford branch of the Royal British Legion and other partners are working together again this year, with events to mark Remembrance Day and Armistice Day.

While last year these events had to take place on a much smaller scale, due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year they will return to their traditional format with members of the public invited to take part and pay their respects.

Sunday, November 14 – Remembrance Day Wreath Laying Ceremony

The traditional wreath laying ceremony and march-past will be held at the War Memorial, Bedford Embankment at 11.00am. After the wreath laying, the Parade will march down the Embankment, across the High Street and St Paul’s Square, finishing in Harpur Square.

Wreath laying ceremonies are also taking place at the South African Campaign Memorial (outside the Swan Hotel), at Elstow Abbey, and in villages across the Borough.

Kempston Town Council have arranged a Remembrance Service at Kempston East Methodist Church on Sunday, November 14, at 14.30, followed by a parade to the War Memorial for the silence and the laying of wreaths.

Thursday, November 11 – Armistice Day Commemoration and two-minute silence

There will be an Armistice Day Commemoration and two-minute silence in Riverside Square, Bedford. Members of the public are asked to arrive for 10.40am.

The RBL Poppy Shop at 20 Harpur Street will be offering tea and coffee, supplied by Morrisons, to all veterans after the Armistice Service.

Bedford Borough’s Armistice and Remembrance Day events are being conducted in association with the Royal British Legion and Bedford Borough Council.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said “Remembrance and Armistice events are always hugely moving as we remember the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces and their families, from Britain and the Commonwealth, the vital role played by the emergency services and those that have lost their lives as a result of conflict or terrorism.

“Working with the Bedford branch of the RBL, we are pleased to be able to bring back these events and enable the public to take part in person, and pay their respects in a safe way.”

Robin Thomas, Bedford Branch of the Royal British Legion said “We will also remember those from countries of the present Commonwealth nations in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean who were not always afforded the dignity and honour in death that they deserved. We will acknowledge their sacrifice and that of their families.

“This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion. The Poppy Appeal is the Royal British Legion’s biggest fundraising campaign. Bedford’s Poppy Shop on Harpur Street opens on 28 October, and will be open from 10am to 4pm everyday to Saturday 13 November, apart from Sunday 7 November when it will be open from 1pm-4pm.”

While the Council and RBL are planning for more traditional Remembrance and Armistice services this year, they will continue to monitor government advice for mass gatherings to ensure the health and safety of participants, which remains the priority, and update accordingly.