Lest We Forget

VJ Day in Bishop Auckland Market Place 2020
Deputy Lord Lieutenant Dr Robert McManners OBE, Councillor Joy Allen, Mayor of Bishop Auckland with local veterans and piper Arthur Middleton. Photo taken at Bishop Auckland VJ Day service in August organised by Royal British Legion and SSAFA.

Bishop Auckland Town Council in partnership with the Royal British Legion and 8th Battalion the Rifles, would usually be very busy organising the annual Remembrance Sunday Service and Parade, to enable the town to gather to pay their respects, however due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic the service and parade are not able to take place in their usual format.

As a town, with help from SSAFA (the Armed Forces charity, the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) and Royal British Legion we celebrated and remembered VE Day, D-Day and VJ Day 2020 at a distance and we will be doing the same for Remembrance Sunday this November.

At the cenotaph on Sunday 8th November only representatives from the Royal British Legion, SSAFA and the veterans local to Bishop Auckland will be gathered to pay their respects. We ask that all other members of the public, organisations and groups wanting to lay wreaths do so after 11am on the 8th November and before 9am on Wednesday 11th November to reduce the numbers gathered.

Mike Donne President of SSAFA Durham and Ruth Wright Royal British Legion, Bishop Auckland Branch Secretary have said: “Like so many things in 2020 Remembrance will be different. We encourage everyone to remember those who made the supreme sacrifice, the wounded and their families in a different way this year. Put a poppy in your window, observe the 2-minute silence at home and at 3 o’clock raise a glass ‘to the fallen’. If you can make a donation to the Poppy Appeal, please do either online or into a collection tin. It means the Military Charities can continue to look after our service personnel, veterans and their families in their time of need”.

Mayor of Bishop Auckland, Councillor Joy Allen added: “For this year, we need to observe Remembrance Sunday differently to protect the most vulnerable members of our community. We are all very disappointed that we have had to cancel the Bishop Auckland Remembrance Sunday Parade and Service, as it is an important event that allows us to reflect on those who have made the greatest sacrifice. However this does not mean that the they shall be forgotten, we ask people to pay their respects at home, talk to their children about the importance of the day, decorate their windows and even visit the cenotaph at a different time.  We know it is not the same, but we need to be mindful of gatherings, and observe social distancing to ensure that we don’t put anyone at risk to ensure that when we can all come back together to mark occasions such as this, no one is missing”

Even though we are unable to bring the community together to remember those we have lost, Bishop Auckland Town Council are dedicated to helping and supporting the community to help the town flourish. We have opened the applications for our Community Fund, your group or project can apply for up to £500.00. More information can be found on Community Fund page.

For any further information contact the Town Council on 01388 207110 or e mail council@bishopauckland-tc.gov.uk