'We can't forget our war dead': Swaffham council agree to take on Remembrance Day planning from Royal British Legion
A Royal British Legion branch has asked for another group to organise this year’s Remembrance Day commemorations in a market town.
Swaffham town councillor Lindsay Beech said the she was appalled that the legion is not taking on the responsibility.
She said: “I feel very strongly that we continue this tradition. We can’t forget our war dead and I am appalled the Royal British Legion have stepped down. It’s terrible and I can’t believe it.”
But town clerk Richard Bishop told Wednesday’s full town council meeting that the branch’s committee members are elderly and they are struggling to find new people to help out within the branch.
Mr Bishop said: “They are prepared to help but due to the age of the committee it might not be a bad idea for another group like the town council to take this on.”
Mayor Jill Skinner added: “I have been in touch with Anne and Barrie Thorp of the Royal British Legion and they want us to step in and help with the organisation. Hopefully we do not feel it is too much pressure on our staff.”
Mrs Skinner added that she has been in touch with the vicar of the parish church who is willing to get involved and potentially hold a service with a choir.
Councillor Paul Darby said the tradition should be continued, whether that means the mayor laying a wreath at the memorial, and simply allowing people to turn up and pay their respects.
He said: “Even if the Royal British Legion is not involved, there can be a get-together for Remembrance Day.”
Mr Bishop said the Fakenham Town Band was cancelled by the Royal British Legion.
In response, councillor Graham Edwards said: “It’s a bit rich for them to get us to organise it then cancel the local Fakenham Town Band. Can we get the band back again?”
Mr Bishop said they can try which would cost £150.
The town clerk said they can also pay for a bugler to play the Last Post.
Councillor Judy Anscombe proposed that the council continues the tradition of Remembrance Sunday, which includes the cost of the band.
This was unanimously approved by the council.