Lorry convoy through Burton for Remembrance Sunday will go ahead

A large convoy of lorries is still set to make its way through Burton in honour of the fallen soldiers on Remembrance Sunday. Simon Hines has organised the convoy which is hoped will see between 15 to 20 large vehicles make their way through the town and past the war memorial just before 11am on Remembrance Sunday, November 8. People can view the parade from their doorsteps as it passes by.

It comes as Remembrance Day parades have been cancelled u[ and down the country amid the coronavirus pandemic, including the ones that usually take place in Burton, Uttoxeter and Swadlincote, which each attract thousands who turn out to pay their respects. The convoy had been organised before the second national lockdown came into force but will still go ahead. Mr Hines has previously organised hugely popular truck convoys through Burton during the first national lockdown during the Clap for the NHS and carers, which dozens of people watched from their doosteps.

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This time the wagons will roll for fallen heroes as the vehicles slowly make their way through the town to honour our fallen heroes.

The convoy will not sound their horns as they did for the Clap for the NHS event as this event needs to be a solemn one, say the organisers. People are being asked to watch the convoy and pay their respects to the fallen from their doorsteps or while out walking to maintain social distancing rules. The convoy will not stop at the memorial and people are being asked not to congregate there.

The convoy, which will be capped at 30 vehicles, will include motorcycles, classic cars, vans, tractors, classic Land Rovers, coaches and trucks. It will set off at around 10.15am. From there the vehicles will go down Henhurst Hill and make their way in front of the fire station and plan to pass the front of the Burton and South Derbyshire College, where the war memorial is, just before 11am.

It comes as residents are being asked to stay at home to remember the fallen this year. East Staffordshire Borough Council wants people to ‘Remember at Home’ this Remembrance Sunday. In order to comply with Government restrictions this year’s parade through Burton has been cancelled however a short scaled-back wreath-laying ceremony with invited guests will take place.

As attendance will be limited to just a few, the ceremony will be recorded and the video uploaded to the council’s website on Monday, November 9. Councillor Colin Wileman, Mayor of East Staffordshire, said: “I would encourage people across the borough to take part in socially distanced Remembrance activity, whether that be watching the service on television or pausing for the Two Minute Silence in your home or on your doorsteps.” A spokesman for Staffordshire County Council said with the current Covid-19 restrictions in place and only small outdoor ceremonies being allowed, people are being encouraged to join in online, on social media or to pay their own tributes from home.

Some organisations and parishes will also be streaming events and people should contact them directly for more details. And the Royal British Legion is inviting people to support and fundraise for the poppy appeal, leave a tribute on the virtual field of remembrance or to take part in the virtual poppy run. At the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, activities online and on social media will also help families learn about the wide variety of roles performed by the Armed Forces and the importance of remembrance.

Alan White, Leader of the county council, said: “As a former serving member of the Armed Forces myself, I know how special these commemorations are for both current serving and former personnel and their families. “This year of course will be very different because of Covid-19 and the restrictions in place to control the virus. While it’s sad that we won’t be able to attend large physical services, as in previous years, I would encourage people to try and find a few moments to pay tribute at home or join in with some of the online activities.

“The annual commemorations give us all a chance to pay our respect to those brave members of our armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. And, while the focus of course will be on the two World Wars, we will also be remembering those who have made sacrifices serving their country in all conflicts.” Staffordshire continues to have strong connections with the Armed Forces and is home to three Signal Regiments in Stafford, the Defence Medical Services in Whittington, as well as a large number of Reserve units and Cadets.

Staffordshire companies, organisations and groups are also being reminded about the Armed Forces Covenant and to sign up for it. Signing the covenant means that organisations are supporting their employees as reservists and veterans and benefitting from the wide range of skills and experience that the Armed Forces can bring. By supporting the Armed Forces community, organisations will also have the opportunity to apply for a number of funding opportunities.

Groups can find out how to sign a Covenant and access funding opportunities by visiting https://www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk.

Alternatively people can email amanda.dawson-blower@staffordshire.gov.uk.

People can find out more about online activities for Remembrance Sunday at https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance

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