Communities prepare for Remembrance Day

Thinking Soldier memorial covered with wreaths following Huntingdon's service of remembrance

Thinking Soldier memorial covered with wreaths following Huntingdon's service of remembrance - Credit: Archant

People living in Huntingdonshire have been urged to dig deep to support the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal in its centenary year - after the  charity suffered a financial hit from the pandemic.

Towns and villages across the district will be holding special gatherings around their war memorials this week to mark the lives lost in the two world wars and other conflicts.

Some communities will be marking both Armistice Day on Thursday (November 11) with informal meetings and also Remembrance Sunday (November 14) for full services as the event begins to return to normal after the lockdown.

Alan Scott, chairman of Cambridgeshire’s Royal British Legion from St Ives, said the charity, which supports the forces community, hoped to raise around £40m nationally this year after its income dropped to £25m during the coronavirus crisis.

He said: “Our income has gone down at a time when there has been an increased demand over the last two years. It has been a big hit.

“However, my collection box is really heavy and people have been very, very generous.”

Mr Scott, who served in the RAF, said that despite the “big hit” on the RBL’s income, the charity remained on a good financial footing but wanted to rebuild its reserves.

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On Sunday, Alconbury Weald, the former military airfield, will host a Remembrance Sunday event in honour of the British and American servicemen who lost their lives.

An image of Remembrance Sunday at Alconbury Weald last year.

An image of Remembrance Sunday at Alconbury Weald last year. - Credit: Alconbury Weald

People will gather at Ermine Street Church Academy and form a procession to the former wartime Watch Office, a listed building where a memorial is to be built to recognise personnel who served there including 19 young men who lost their lives in an explosion in 1943.

The Rev Rob Paddison, from Alconbury Weald Church, will lead a service of reflection and prayer, which will be followed by a two-minute silence at 11am and the laying of wreaths.

In Huntingdon, there will be an informal gathering around the war memorial on Thursday, followed by a parade on Sunday when a wreath-laying ceremony will take place.

St Neots will see Remembrance events on the Sunday, with a service taking place at the War Memorial in Church Walk, starting at 10.40am and followed by a church service.

At Eaton Socon, remembrance takes place around the War Memorial at 10.45am and in Eynesbury it will be at 10.50am followed by a church service.

In St Ives, there will be an informal gathering at the War Memorial on Thursday with a parade and service on Sunday, starting from 10.30am.

Ramsey will mark remembrance at the memorial on both Thursday and Sunday, with the Sunday event starting at 2pm.

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