Article and Photographs: Jonathan White
Additional Photography: Bohdan Panczyszyn
Remembrance Sunday Services commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day and VJ Day, the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and 70 years since the start of the Korean War.
Due the current Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing guidelines, Remembrance Sunday Services on 8th November 2020 were private events, although several were videoed and made available to view via social media.
Wistaston Memorial Hall was built over seventy years ago in memory of the sixteen men from Wistaston who lost their lives in the Second World War.
A Remembrance Day poppy cascade and silhouetted soldiers were on display in front of Wistaston Memorial Hall.
Rev. Mike Turnbull, St Mary’s Church, Wistaston, said: “Many thanks to all who contributed to this online Act of Remembrance. It means that we were able to continue the years of remembrance that have taken place in the Memorial Hall, albeit in a very different way.”
Diane Edge-Robinson, Vice Chair of Wistaston Memorial Hall committee, said: “The Wistaston Memorial Hall Management Committee hope that our online Remembrance Service went some way to compensate for not being able to have our usual gathering in the Hall. This would not have been possible without the contributors giving their time and Rev. Mike Turnbull with his media skills he uses each week at St Mary’s Church, Wistaston. We must never forget the sixteen Wistonians who gave their lives or our freedom.”
Rob Richardson, Drum Sergeant at Cheshire Drums and Bugles, played his side drum on his Lear Drive driveway in Wistaston. Robert performed music including ‘The Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’, leading up to the two-minute silence at 11am.
Rob Richardson said: “For the past thirty-six years I’ve been on parade every year: the last two in Crewe and the previous ten under the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium – playing in front of 10,000 people and 78,000 ghosts is a hugely moving experience and one that changes your views and outlook. This year Remembrance for all of us is very, very different. We can’t parade, our regimental colours won’t be flying and only a handful of people will be at cenotaphs’ and church services, but we can still remember, just in a different way. We can all show our respects for the fallen and support for the living on our front doorsteps. Now more than ever do we need a sense of community, a sense of togetherness and to be thankful for the very freedom their sacrifice bought us, that’s why I was out there at 11am playing “Drummers Call – Stand To” and then sounding The Last Post, with my Dad, himself a veteran tank driver of the 17th/21st Lancers next to me …. When you go home. Tell them of us and say. For your tomorrow. We gave our today.”
In Crewe there was a small private Royal British Legion wreath laying at the war memorial on Memorial Square. Members of the public could also lay their own wreaths.
Belong Crewe created a community artwork, featuring over 1000 hand prints sent in from across the Crewe community and made into giant poppies, installed at Bru Cafe & Coffee on Lyceum Square.
A socially distanced Service of Remembrance took place at the war memorial in Shavington with the service live streamed online.
An Act of Remembrance took place at the war memorial on the corner of Colleys Lane and Crewe Road with a small number of invited guests and live-streamed via Facebook.
Rev. Dr Mark Hart led a Service of Remembrance at St Mary’s Church, the Chair of the Royal British Legion John Dwyer delivered the Exhortation into a 2 minute silence and Mayor of Nantwich, Councillor Pam Kirkham read the lesson with the service live-streamed on YouTube.
Nantwich Town Council laid wreaths at the war memorial on Nantwich town square ahead of the service. Members of the public could also lay their own wreaths.
Businesses in the town also decorated their premises including TPL Salon (Beam Street) and The Talbot (Oat Market).
Cheshire East Council
Cheshire East Council setup a virtual service where viewers were able to see a wreath being laid by Cheshire East Mayor Barry Burkhill and hear a reading from the mayor’s chaplain Rev Ralph Kemp, and a recital of the Act of Remembrance.
Cheshire East Highways painted remembrance poppies on roads around Cheshire East to honour those who served and the sacrifice of our Armed Forces, veterans & their families.
National ‘Doorstep Remembrance’
This year people were also encouraged to stay at home and join in the national ‘Doorstep Remembrance’ at 11am. They were also asked to share their thoughts about Remembrance on social media and decorate their homes with poppies to show their support, see the British Legion web site.