An update from Captain A Usborne RN  – West Wight Remembrance Sunday Parade Organiser

We are now a little more than 6 weeks from Remembrance Sunday.

Whatever arrangements are made this year, it is clear that the overriding priority and guiding principle is that we must ensure that everyone is kept safe.  Whilst a crowd of people congregated around one war memorial focuses the thoughts of the West Wight community, it is very hard to see how this could be achieved within even the current social distancing rules: wreath layers could be marshalled successfully, but it would not be possible to allow the usual gathering of supporters and spectators.  As a consequence of this, no Remembrance Sunday parades will take place on the Island this year; although I understand that the Lord Lieutenant will be laying a wreath on behalf of all of us in Newport.

Under normal circumstance we would be having a parade at the Totland War Memorial on Sunday 8 November, but for the reasons described above this will not take place.  Wreaths, however, have been ordered by most organisations and they will be invited, taking the necessary safety measures, to lay their wreaths at a West Wight War Memorial of their choice, at a time of their choice, on Friday 6 November or Saturday 7 November.   If wreaths are laid as proposed this would reduce the possibility of large gatherings.  I should be most surprised if there were not some form of National televised ceremony on Remembrance Sunday.

The parade at Totland is postponed until November 2021.

I know that many people will be disappointed by this decision, but under the circumstances this seems to be the best solution.

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