If nothing else significant happens between now and December 31st, 2020 has been the strangest of years.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused misery to many and seemingly looks set to be with us for some time. The job of protecting citizens is the government’s prime role and among its defensive measures the ‘lockdown’ strategy has had profound implications for both economic stability and the wellbeing of the population at large.
Sadly, Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday in November) saw many processions and gatherings at cenotaphs up and down the land cancelled. Obviously, Enderby was no different and the annual procession through the village, culminating at the Parish Church (St John the Baptist) on Leicester Lane did not go ahead. Fortunately, pre-recorded services from Enderby and Thurlaston were placed online on the Enderby Parish Church’s website.
Armistice Day is on 11th November and is also known as ‘Remembrance Day’. The anniversary is used to remember all the people who have died in wars – not just the Great War (WW1) but including World War Two, the Falklands War, the Gulf War, and conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month
The first two-minute silence in Britain was held one year after the end of World War One on 11th November 1919, when King George V asked the public to observe the silence at 11am. He asked the people to do it so “…the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead”.
The British Legion was formed in 1921 (which was also the first year of the now ubiquitous ‘Poppy Appeal’). Poppies are sold by the British Legion to raise money for supporting ex-servicemen and women and their families. The poppy is seen as a symbol of both remembrance and hope for a peaceful future.
Although there wasn’t a procession through Enderby this year, Guide Leader and procession organiser Rachel North Spadaccini reported on All Things Enderby Community facebook page that the “…1st Enderby Guides have made poppies and their leaders have put them [up] along the route”.
Poppies can be seen displayed around local villages, having been used for many years as a symbol to remember those who have given their lives in battle. Poppies are used because they are the flowers which sprung up on the battlefields after World War One ended and as described in the famous poem “In Flanders Fields”, written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lt.Colonel John McCrae.
This year because of the coronavirus restrictions, poppies have been on sale in retail outlets but normal poppy selling by volunteers on the streets was not possible. Again, ‘online’ came to the rescue and poppy images could be downloaded. Several Enderby folk managed to apply their craft to create crocheted poppies.
On Armistice Day this year the British Legion are asking people to show Remembrance by participating in personal and remote acts – including standing on your doorstep during the Two Minute Silence, wearing a poppy with pride or displaying a poppy or the printed version in your window.
For information on different ways to support the work of the Royal British Legion please click on the link: