People will be able to pay their respects at Harborough’s Roll of Honour next Thursday (November 11)

People will be able to go and pay their respects at Market Harborough’s Roll of Honour at the town’s Symington Building on Armistice Day next Thursday (November 11).People will be able to go and pay their respects at Market Harborough’s Roll of Honour at the town’s Symington Building on Armistice Day next Thursday (November 11).
People will be able to go and pay their respects at Market Harborough’s Roll of Honour at the town’s Symington Building on Armistice Day next Thursday (November 11).
People are being encouraged to wear a face covering in the building and a hand sanitising station will be available to use

People will be able to go and pay their respects at Market Harborough’s Roll of Honour at the town’s Symington Building on Armistice Day next Thursday (November 11).

The Church Square entrance to Harborough District Council’s headquarters on Adam and Eve Street will be open to the public from 10.40am to 11.15am.

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People are being encouraged to wear a face covering in the building and a hand sanitising station will be available to use.

The Roll of Honour book will be with the Concierge at The Symington Building for people who would like to see it.

The poignant memorial of R & W H Symington & Co. Ltd, once Harborough district’s largest employer, reads ‘In Honoured Memory of Our Boys who gave their lives for King and Country’.

The powerful tribute to the fallen immortalises in the upper panels 250 names of brave local men who fought in the Great War from 1914-1918 and 35 who died.

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The lower panels salute 164 soldiers, sailors and airmen who served in the Second World War and six who were killed.

Neither the traditional annual service at St Dionysius Church on Market Harborough’s High Street nor the parade through the town on Remembrance Day on Sunday November 14 will go ahead again this year.

People are being urged to mark the nation’s iconic day to remember the country’s servicemen and women from home instead in a bit to push back the Covid crisis.

A small ceremony will be staged on The Square in Market Harborough at 11am on that Sunday.

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It will include prayers and the two-minute silence and invited guests will lay wreaths.

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien, Harborough council chairman Cllr Stephen Bilbie and council leader Cllr Phil King are among dignitaries due to attend along with representatives from the Royal British Legion and Armed Services.

Guests will leave and disperse as soon as the ceremony ends.

Stewart Harrison, 74, chairman of the Market Harborough branch of the RBL, said: “It’s a great shame that we have to drastically slim down this year’s Remembrance Day commemoration but we have to err on the side of caution.

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“We will still set out to pay a huge and heartfelt tribute to the tens of thousands of heroic men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice fighting for king and country.

“We will salute those magnificent soldiers, sailors and airmen – as well as crucial support staff and medics – who laid their lives on the line in the two world wars and many other smaller conflicts too,” said the Army and RAF veteran.

“But as we did last year we will do that again this year in a safe and sensible way.

“We have lost enough people already to the coronavirus in the UK since March last year.

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“And we will do everything we can to stop this terrible virus striking down any more innocent people in Market Harborough.”

Stewart said they will stage a short service as normal at Market Harborough’s war memorial on The Square on Thursday November 11.

At 2pm on Saturday November 13 the legion will lay a wreath at the RBL Plaque and at the Covid 19 plaque opposite in Welland Park.

And at 3pm that afternoon they will hold the traditional service at the Portico, the town’s much-cherished First World War memorial, at Rosewood Manor care home on Coventry Road.

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“Sadly we won’t be holding our traditional parade down the High Street or our church service on Sunday November 14.

“We will be staging the annual service on The Square.

“But we are calling on people to stay away if they can so that the area doesn’t become too crowded,” said Stewart.

“It’s a difficult message to put out because Remembrance Day is so very special to all of us.

“The whole day mean so much to so many of us – and it’s obviously by far the biggest event on our calendar,” said the proud ex-soldier.

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“But we have to honour and cherish our many heroes who have died, been injured and endured trauma over the years without imperilling those who would love to come along.

“And we are hoping with all our hearts that we will back to normal next year as we stage the services and ceremonies that we’ve all come to expect and support.”