The War Memorial on Colchester High Street will once again provide the public focal point for the borough’s Act of Remembrance, on Sunday 14 November 2021, after Covid restrictions last year saw a small service held at the Garrison instead.
Soldiers from the town’s 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team and local Army Reserve units will be on parade, alongside civic dignitaries including the Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, Jennifer Tolhurst; the Mayor of Colchester, Cllr Robert Davidson; the High Sheriff of Essex, Mr Simon Brice DL; Chief Constable of Essex Police, Ben-Julian Harrington, High Steward of Colchester Sir Bob Russell, and MP Will Quince.
A 105mm Light Gun from 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery will fire to mark the beginning and end of the two-minute silence at 11am.
The Mayor of Colchester, Cllr Robert Davidson, said: “I am delighted that Colchester’s Service of Remembrance is set to bring together members of the community and the Garrison, once again, in a public show of thanks and respect in its traditional setting at the War Memorial.
“On this National Day of Remembrance, I would encourage everyone to join me to honour those lost in conflicts and to spend time to reflect on the sacrifice of former and current service men and women, to whom we all owe an enormous and continuing debt of gratitude.”
Lieutenant Colonel Ed Rankin, Commander of Colchester Garrison, added: “It is hugely significant that we in the military are again able to mark Remembrance stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the civilian community, from which we are drawn, and I invite the people of Colchester to join us to honour the Fallen.
“Remembrance is very important and very real for those of us serving in the Armed Forces. We remember with deep gratitude the sacrifice of young men and women who have given their lives for others. We also remember their families and all those who have been injured and still bear the scars of war.”
Following the ceremony at the War Memorial, the focus shifts to the Town Hall as the British Army Band Colchester leads serving soldiers, veterans and youth organisations through the town centre, before the Mayor, Lord-Lieutenant and Brigadier Nick Cowley, Commander of 16 Air Assault BCT take the salute.
At 11am, on 11 November, to mark Armistice Day, the Mayor will lead a two-minute silence on the steps of Colchester Town Hall, alongside soldiers from the Garrison, civic dignitaries and council staff, which the public is also invited to attend.
Four large poppies will also feature prominently on the Town Hall balcony, in tribute to the victims of war.
The public is asked to consider the use of facemasks and other measures to help prevent the spread of Covid, while attending the Armistice and Remembrance Sunday events. Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, there will be no reception or public access to the Town Hall, following the Remembrance Sunday parade. Road closures will also be in place along High Street throughout the morning, on the 14 November.