Banbury Remembrance Day to include street parade, church service and wreath-laying ceremony

Remembrance Day in Banbury this year will be a traditional display of respect for the fallen – with a street parade, church service and wreath-laying ceremony.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 9:17 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 9:18 am

Banbury Remembrance Day celebrations will take place in the town centre on Sunday November 14.

In 2020, Covid restrictions forced the cancellation of the street parade and reduced the wreath-laying to just seven tributes.

This year, as in pre-covid years, hundreds of people will line the streets to commemorate the servicemen and women who died in two world wars and later conflicts.

Photo shows a scene from the wreath-laying ceremony in Banbury from 2019. (Submitted photo from Banbury Town Council)

The day will start at 10.15am when a military and civic procession, led by a marching band, will leave Broad Street to travel up High Street and along Horsefair to St Mary’s Church for a memorial mass for a specially-invited congregation. The service will be broadcast on speakers outside the church for those who can’t be inside.

After the service, crowds will gather at the war memorial in People’s Park for a wreath-laying ceremony at which around 50 wreaths will be placed on the cenotaph.

Remembrance 2021 in Banbury will start on November 2, the day this year’s poppy appeal is launched.

To coincide with the poppy launch, a film – a moving tribute to Banbury’s war dead – will be projected on to the side of the town hall from windows of the former M&S store.

The film will show scenes lifted from photographs taken during WWI of Banbury servicemen plus a mass poppy display. It will be shown on a rolling basis every day from dusk on Nov. 2 until Remembrance Day.

Leader of the council and president of the Royal British Legion’s Banbury branch Kieron Mallon said: “This is a time when people come together to remember those who went to war to serve their country but did not come home.

“Last year we did the best we could in difficult circumstances to pay tribute to those who lost their lives, but this year we can do it in full traditional fashion.”

Chairman of the legion’s Banbury branch Chris Smithson added: “Remembrance Sundays are moving tributes to the fallen. They ensure that the sacrifices of those who served are never forgotten.

“2021 is the centenary year of the Royal British Legion and November is also the centenary of the Banbury RBL branch. Banbury is one of the oldest active branches in the country.”