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Kimbolton Branch Royal British Legion Commemorations 2020

Remembrance Sunday 2020 will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.  The impact of COVID-19 and the imposition of a second national lockdown resulted in very muted commemorations in Kimbolton.

The day dawned mild but with a chill in the November air.  A heavy fog settled across the area and at 0930 Reverend Philip Howson, our Branch Chaplain, led us in a service at the Bicton Memorial to the 379th Bomb Group USAAF who flew from Station 117, Kimbolton Airfield during World War 2.  Wreaths were laid by Mr John Hill representing the Branch, Master Sergeant Chris Chukta USAF representing the US Visiting Forces in the UK, Mr Jonathan Gray representing Huntingdon District Council, Mrs Dawn Gooderham representing Kimbolton Parish Council and Mr Chris Bates, from Kimbolton School, representing the 379th Bomb Group Association.

To add to the atmosphere Mr Andy Griffiths from Stow Longa brought along 3 of his World War 2 military vehicles all of which carry the markings of units that served at Kimbolton.

Later in the day, it was a very different Remembrance Commemoration in Kimbolton.  This year there was no involvement from Kimbolton School with the usual march past of the Combined Cadet Force, RBL Members and other village groups.  Instead, we had a small COVID-19 compliant commemoration at the war memorial.  Reverend Philip again officiated and we were honoured to be joined by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Dr Andy Harter CBE DL FREng.  After prayers, Mrs Gill Walker read the names of the fallen from the village.  The Two Minutes Silence was announced by a moving Last Post by Kai from Kimbolton School and we closed the ceremony with the laying of wreaths by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant and the Parish Council.  Thanks to Mr Russell Gooderham and Mr Brian Strand who paraded the Union Flag and Branch Standard and Mr Ian Walker for acting as Escort to the Standards.  Wreaths were laid after the ceremony by Kimbolton School, the Rotary Club and the Scouts and Guides to ensure social distancing.

Following the service, Captain Newton and Mr David Henrick paid their respects at the 5 military graves in the Kimbolton Cemetery.

Prior to the announcement of the national lockdown, Reverend Philip had already planned to conduct and record a Remembrance Service on 1 November so everyone could share it on 8 November.  With the national lockdown in place this recorded Service was available virtually allowing all Branch members and villagers to join together.  Thanks to Reverend Philip for his hard work and the support of our friends at St Andrew’s Church.  The Service is available at: https://youtu.be/LSZYGyZXzw0

On 11 November at 1100, Reverend Philip, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Branch Mr David Henrick and Mr Stuart Ainsworth along with Mr Brian Strand the Branch Standard Bearer commemorated the end of World War 1 at the war memorial synchronising the Two Minutes Silence with the bugler from Kimbolton School.  Thanks to Reverend Ron Lancaster for his assistance in synchronising both ends of the High Street.

There are a variety of photographs from the above events displayed under the photo gallery for your interest.





The Kimbolton and Stonely Parish Council and
The Kimbolton and District Branch of the Royal British Legion








Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions