Northampton will honour members of the armed forces who have lost their lives in the line of duty with a Remembrance Day parade, service and activities on Sunday, 11 November. This is a particularly special year, as 2018 marks 100 years since the end of the First World War.
The day will begin at 9.30am, when the Northampton Pipe Band and the Air Training Corps Band lead a parade of veterans on a march from the Market Square to All Saints’ Church.
At 9:45am, the Mayor of Northampton, Councillor Tony Ansell, will lead a procession of councillors and town dignitaries from The Guildhall to join the parade, which will then gather in front of All Saints’ Church shortly before 10am, when Father Oliver Coss will lead the Remembrance Service.
At the end of the service, the parade will assemble in George Row, and the traditional two minutes silence will begin at 11am, at the first stroke of the All Saints’ clock. The laying of wreaths will then take place in the church’s Memorial Garden.
The parade will continue on its procession march, past the Guildhall, along St Giles’ Street and onto Abington Street via Fish Street, for dismissal at the Market Square.
Between 12 and 3pm, Northampton Museums & Art Gallery will host a range of activities on the Market Square to commemorate and celebrate Armistice Day, including performances by the Looking Glass Theatre, who will perform extracts from the play ‘Killed.’
Visitors will also be able to hear First World War poetry read by performance poet Nairobi Thompson and extracts written by the CreativeWriters@theMuseum group, while the Northampton Male Voice Choir, Classical and Rock Choirs will take to the stage. A selection of museum objects and images relating to the war will be on display, along with bunting making and other craft activities for children.
This year, remembrance activities will continue on into the evening, with a national beacon lighting and bell ringing at All Saints’ Church, beginning at 6.15pm. The Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire will be joined by dignitaries and representatives from the Royal British Legion for this nationwide ceremony, with speeches from the church’s portico, before the official beacon lighting at 7pm.
The day of remembrance will conclude with a concert at the Royal & Derngate Theatre at 7.30pm, celebrating Northamptonshire’s First World War heroes, including Edgar Mobbs and Walter Tull. Tickets for this event are available from the Royal & Derngate Box Office, by calling 01604 624811 or visiting www.royalandderngate.co.uk
The Mayor of Northampton, Councillor Tony Ansell, said: “Remembrance Sunday is a day for the nation to commemorate and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.”
“This year’s events are particularly significant, as 2018 marks the centenary of Armistice Day, so we can take time to reflect and remember the brave men and women from our county and beyond who fought in the First World War. Everyone is welcome to attend these events and pay their respects.”
Phillip York, Branch Chairman for the Royal British Legion, said: “We are looking forward to the Remembrance Day parade, service and events. It is wonderful that the town shows such support for its service men, women and their families, and takes the time to mark this very special occasion.”