For the second year in a row the annual armed forces day in Sandbach was a quiet affair due to the covid-19 restrictions.
Last year, the event was cancelled as a national shutdown was in place but in 2021 the Royal British Legion – in its 100th year – and the Cheshire Regiment (Sandbach branch) held a small service on 26th June, led by the new vicar of St Mary’s the Rev Bee Boyde, making her debut for the RBL and the Cheshires at the war memorial on Market Square (writes Stewart Green).
Wreaths were laid by president of the Sandbach branch of the Royal British Legion Tom Price Jones and chair Marjorie Newton as well as one on behalf of the Cheshire Regiment (Sandbach branch).
As with other acts of remembrance held over the last 18 months it was not publicly promoted and only those passing by or invited were able to witness proceedings.
Plans had been to have a procession, but it seems Government restrictions put a stop to that idea as social distancing and crowd gathering had restricted the many organisations that would have taken part in such an event, as they have not been able to meet for over a year.
Armed forces day was first held in 2009 and veterans’ day, an event that had been going since 27th June, 2006, picked because it was the day after the anniversary of the first investiture of the Victoria Cross in Hyde Park, London in 1857.
Armed forces day is a chance for people to pay their respects to serving members of the armed forces rather than the remembrance of the fallen on 11th November.
In previous years, Sandbach has had a number of marches from Westfields to St Mary’s Church, joined by Sandbach Town Council to have a fun day and promotion day and in 2014 the event was used to award the Mercian Regiment the freedom of Sandbach.