St Albans Remembrance Day 2019 will revert back to usual morning service

PUBLISHED: 07:43 22 January 2019

Large crowds gather to watch the St Albans Remembrance Day Parade 2018. {Craig Shepheard}

Large crowds gather to watch the St Albans Remembrance Day Parade 2018. {Craig Shepheard}

©2018 Archant

St Albans’ Remembrance Day commemorations will revert back to their usual time for 2019.

Anne Main MP holds a wreath alongside other local dignitaries at the St Albans Remembrance Day Parade 2018. {Craig Shepheard}Anne Main MP holds a wreath alongside other local dignitaries at the St Albans Remembrance Day Parade 2018. {Craig Shepheard}

To mark 100 years since the end of World War One and to coincide with a national beacon-lighting event, in 2018 the annual November 11 service was held at 6.30pm.

More than double the number of expected attendees came along to the St Peter’s Street parade, where armed services personal and other groups marched through the centre.

However, 2019’s event will switch back to its usual 10.30am start, before the country-wide two minute silence at 11am.

The decision was supported by the St Albans district council (SADC) Community, Environment and Sport Scrutiny Committee on January 17.

The St Albans Remembrance Day Parade 2018 flag bearers march along St Peters Street. {Craig Shepheard}The St Albans Remembrance Day Parade 2018 flag bearers march along St Peters Street. {Craig Shepheard}

Committee chair Cllr Anthony Rowlands, said: “Remembrance Day is one of the most moving and important occasions in the district and the council plays the major role in its organisation.

“The committee was impressed both by the number of activities that were arranged for the centenary of the First World War’s armistice and the level of engagement with residents.

“Many thousands of people across the district, young and old alike, participated in at least one event, showing their respects to the fallen.

“I know a few people were surprised at the limited extent of the 11am commemoration because they had not realised that the main service and parade had been moved to the evening to be part of a nationwide event.

Stevenage's Remembrance Sunday service in the Old Town. Picture: Gary WilkinsStevenage's Remembrance Sunday service in the Old Town. Picture: Gary Wilkins

“That evening occasion was a considerable success with St Peter’s Street packed, but the committee was pleased that in future years the event will revert back to the traditional time.”

A report about last year’s Remembrance Day events - coined St Albans Remembers - was also considered by the councillors.

Visitors queued for over an hour to see the Poppy Field illuminations inside St Albans Cathedral, lampposts down St Peter’s Street were decorated with giant poppies, and children decorated rocks with names of soldiers killed in the fighting.

This ran alongside two St Albans + Gallery exhibitions, visited by 20,000 people, and a campaign called There But Not There, which saw wire-framed soldier silhouettes erected around the district.

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