This Remembrance Sunday, 14 November, communities in South West London will come together to host in-person remembrance services for the first time after Covid-19.
As Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday draw near, many South West London councils have organised remembrance services to honour the fallen and commemorate the British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women, who lost their lives in both World Wars and later conflicts.
Last year many of these services were cancelled or carried out virtually due to the pandemic.
This Sunday however, people will be able to pay their respects communally as the services revert to their traditional format.
Caution and social distancing will still be advised at many of these events.
There will be twelve services held in Richmond upon Thames, in locations such as Radnor Gardens and the Teddington Hospital war memorial.
Most of these events will include a parade of Armed Forces veterans, civic dignitaries, and religious officials, along with a service and two-minute silence at 11am.
Mayor of Richmond upon Thames, Councillor Geoff Acton, said: “Remembrance Sunday is always hugely moving as we pay our respects to all those who have served our country and been affected by conflict.
“2021 is the centenary year of the Royal British Legion, making this year’s commemoration even more poignant.
“I hope Richmond upon Thames residents will join me and other councillors at a service on Remembrance Sunday and will wear a poppy with pride to help raise vital funds for the Poppy Appeal.”
Cllr Acton will be present at the Richmond remembrance service which will begin at 10:15am this Sunday with a parade at the Old Deer Park.
Kingston upon Thames will also be hosting four services in New Malden, the Guildhall, Surbiton and Chessington.
All of these events will include a two-minute silence at 11am, and key figures such as the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and other Councillors will be present.
Merton will be holding similar services at the Norton Health Centre and the Wimbledon War Memorial, both of which will be attended by the Mayor of Merton, Cllr Michael Brunt.
There will also be a parade outside the British Legion Hall in Mitcham which will be attended by the Deputy Mayor of Merton.
Residents from Kensington and Chelsea will also be invited to join their mayor, Councillor Gerard Hargreaves, who will lead an Act of Remembrance service this Sunday at the Kensington War Memorial.
This will be followed by a Service of Remembrance in St Mary Abbots Church in Kensington Church Street.
There will also be two parade services in Hammersmith and Fulham this Sunday to mark this year’s remembrance.
These open-air services will be held at the Fulham war memorial and the Shepherds Bush war memorial, both of which will include a two-minute silence at 11am.
Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham Councillor PJ Murphy, who will be present at the Shepherds Bush service, said: “This occasion allows our whole community to come together to reflect on and remember those from all walks of life, who were tragically taken for the good of all.
“Our hearts and thoughts are with them and their families who have suffered so much.”
Croydon will hold an Armistice Day ceremony at 11am on 11 November at the Croydon cenotaph in Katharine Street.
Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Sherwan Chowdhury will lead a two-minute silence at 11am, followed by wreath-laying.
There will also be a civic service of remembrance on Remembrance Sunday at Croydon Minster.
Following the service there will be a remembrance parade of military personnel and uniformed groups that will finish at the memorial at Katharine Street, where a wreath-laying ceremony led by Cllr Chowdhury will commence at 12.30pm.
Other civic, faith and community leaders will lay wreaths followed by members of the public, who will be directed to where they can lay a wreath if they wish.
Cllr Chowdhury said: “Our Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday events are an opportunity for us all to honour the immense sacrifice that our men and women of the military have given in order to maintain the peace and freedoms that we enjoy today.
“I hope everyone in Croydon will join me as we come together to remember them.”
At the time this article was written, the councils of Wandsworth, Sutton and Lambeth had not published any information about services in their boroughs.
For a full list of Remembrance Sunday services in your area, visit your local council’s website.