Remembrance and Armistice Day 2020 in Ely

Remembrance and the Poppy Appeal

As you are all aware we are living in unprecedented times, CoVID has caused the disruption of all of our lives and affected numerous events in and around our communities.

Unfortunately, recent commemoration events such as VE Day, VJ Day and the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain were also affected and resulted in small but dignified events at the Ely War Memorial and other memorials around the country.

The City of Ely RBL and Visit Ely (Parish Council representative) have been planning for Remembrance and the Poppy Appeal for some time now and the ever changing guidance from the Royal British Legion and the Government means we will NOT be able to hold a marching parade as we have done in previous years. 

However, Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day will still take place with certain restrictions. In addition, we are requesting that you should stay at home in a safe environment and view the Services through Spotted In Ely who will be live streaming both Remembrance and Armistice Day on Facebook. 

If you feel that you want to be at the War Memorial please observe social distancing, no more than six in a group and wear face coverings where possible; the immediate area around the war memorial and on the Market Place will have barriers to protect those participating. Road Closures will be in place on High Street on 8th November from approx 1000 – 1300 and on 11th November from 1000 to 1130.

Remembrance Sunday

For Remembrance Sunday, the Cathedral will be holding a Remembrance Service on Sunday 8th November starting at 1030am but this year will see a much reduced congregation. By mutual agreement between the Cathedral and Ely RBL, only two Standards will be permitted (The Union and City of Ely RBL Branch Standards) and wreaths will be laid, as usual, in the Cathedral. Entry to the Cathedral Service will be by ticket ONLY with priority given to Royal British Legion, Veterans and Serving personnel, who MUST contact the RBL branch Chairman, David Martin, via email ( or text 07748592148 with your details (Name, Service or Organisation, contact details). Other groups who usually attend or participate in the parade are asked to ONLY send a maximum of two representatives and must also contact David Martin for tickets.

The Cathedral will contact their congregation separately.  Please be aware the wearing of facemasks is currently mandatory whilst in the Cathedral and for all attending the Remembrance Service. Following the Service, at approximately  1130am, the Standards and wreath layers will then move to the War Memorial to lay wreaths.  Due to the usual large number of wreath layers, it is requested that organisations lay their wreaths after the main ceremony, starting at approx 1230, on 8th November please contact David Martin for further information regarding the laying of wreaths.

The service in the Cathedral will be live streamed via You Tube.

Armistice Day

Armistice Day will consist of two Standard Bearers and wreath layers for a small Service at the War Memorial on 11th November starting at 1045hrs and should finish at 1130.

Poppy Appeal

As you may know, many of our Poppy Appeal volunteers fall within the vulnerable age group and therefore The Poppy Appeal will be massively scaled down this year.  There will be opportunity to donate and obtain Poppies as we are able to have our usual stall on the Market Place from 31st October until 7th November.  However, at this time we do not know if other locations will be available to distribute poppies. For those who would like to purchase wreaths please contact the Poppy Appeal Organiser, Les Wilson, by email or by phone, 07950300122

The over-riding factor is for the safety of those participating, supporting and attending these ceremonies and our local communities. I would like to thank you all for your attendance in the past however, it is with a heavy heart that I have too politely request you stay away from the ceremonies at the War Memorial and observe your own commemoration at home where possible.

Thank you for your support during this difficult period and in the future, and hopefully we will have a normal parade next year. Stay safe. 

Press release from David Martin, Chairman, City of Ely Branch Royal British Legion 

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