Sunderland pays tribute to the fallen with a low-key Remembrance Sunday service

A low-key service has gone ahead in Sunderland to honour those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country.

Sunday, 8th November 2020, 2:06 pm

Usually Sunderland holds what is thought to be the biggest Remembrance Sunday parade outside of London, however this year it has been reduced to a low-key affair because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last month, Sunderland City Council confirmed that the annual parade would not be going ahead due to Government restrictions surrounding coronavirus.

However, crowds have still turned out to the Sunderland War Memorial on Burdon Road to pay their respects and watch the low-key service held by veterans.

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A low-key service was held at Sunderland War Memorial.

Poppy wreaths were laid at the cenotaph just outside of Mowbray Park, crowds gathered to give a round of applause to those who served the country and a bugler sounded ‘The Last Post’ before a two-minute silence was held to remember those who had fallen.

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Despite the country starting a lockdown on Thursday, November 5, the Government said that planned remembrance events could still go ahead, providing that guidelines were followed.

Sunderland City Council opted for an online service and a series of poignant short films have been created with Lonely Tower Film and Media, which have been available to view over the Remembrance weekend.

Veterans proudly displayed their medals as they paid tribute to the fallen.

The pre-recorded service featured the traditional aspects of the annual Remembrance event including The Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Mrs Susan Winfield OBE reading ‘In Flanders Fields’, Len Gibson BEM reading the moving ‘Far East Prisoners of War Prayer’ along with ‘The Last Post’ and the chimes of Big Ben ring to observe the two-minute silence.

The name was inspired by the term ‘On stag’ which is is a British Army term for sentry duty, with the changing of personnel on the hour as they gave a salute to the cenotaph.

It began at 11am on Saturday, November 7, and came to a close at 11am on Sunday, November 8, when a moment of silence would have fallen during the annual memorial service, which is usually attended by hundreds of people.

Crowds gave a round of applause during the service.

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