Standard bearers from around the world join Steve in Huntingdon as parade goes viral

Royal British Legion standard bearer Steven Carr

Royal British Legion standard bearer Steven Carr - Credit: Archant

A parade of standard bearers to mark the 75th anniversary of VE-Day may be the biggest ever - even though the bearers never met each other in the virtual show designed to beat the coronavirus.

Around 350 bearers, including some from overseas, took part in the parade which was the brainchild of Steve Carr, 36, a standard bearer for the Royal British Legion’s Huntingdon and District branch.

Long-planned events to mark the landmark anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe had to be scrapped because of the coronavirus and Steve decided to hold a small online parade as replacement so that the local community could celebrate.

But he was stunned at the response which saw standards bearers from British Legion branches and similar organisations from countries around the globe wanting to take part, including South Africa, Argentina, Spain, Cyprus, the north and south of Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Scilly Isles and the Isle of Man.

“It has been absolutely fantastic,” Steve, from Huntingdon, said.

“By the time we closed it there were 350 people in the video and the and the total number who got in touch was over 750.”

He said the gathering of standard bearers may have been the biggest of its kind, even though the participants all took part separately.

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Communities across the country were expected to hold events to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day - the last significant commemoration that the surviving service personnel and civilians who took part in the original celebrations are likely to see.

But local people did not let the coronavirus beat them by continuing to hold street parties and other commemorations, albeit with social distancing in force.

Steve swapped his British Legion standard for 1940’s clothing when he and his wife Holley, 27, dressed up for their local street party.

It is hoped that some of the events planned for VE-Day could be put back to August when the 75th anniversary of VJ-Day takes place to mark the end of the war against Japan, the final chapter of the Second World War.