Following its announcement in October that six landmarks across the county would be lit up in red to mark Remembrance Day, Durham County Council has now unveiled its full programme of online events and virtual content, taking place between 8-11 November.
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, many traditional services, parades and wreath laying ceremonies have been cancelled. However, it is hoped that Durham County Council’s different but equally special series of online events and virtual content to honour those who have given their lives in conflicts all over the world, will help people to mark the occasion safely from the comfort of their own homes.
In a pre-recorded video named Honouring the dead, people will be able to hear the Chairman, Chief Executive of Durham County Council and the Lord Lieutenant pay tribute to those in the region who fought and died in different conflicts across the world. Debuting across Durham County Council’s website and social media channels on Remembrance Sunday, this short film will include a recital of the Remembrance Versewritten by CEx accompanied by a rendition of The Last Post.
As well as specially prepared videos, people will be able to watch video recordings of The Durham Hymns as part of their at-home Remembrance Day commemorations. Created to commemorate the centenary of First World War One, the Durham Hymns is a 40-minute recording which was made at the first performance, in Durham Cathedral in 2016.
The performance features a 100-piece community choir, members of the semi-professional chamber choir Voices of Hope, and a 60-piece brass band made up from members of the Durham Miners’ Association Brass Band, Bearpark and Esh Brass Band, and the Reg Vardy Band. The lyrics and spoken word narration were written by former Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, who drew inspiration from the personal letters, diaries and memoirs of the people of County Durham who experienced the war first-hand. Orlando Gough and Jessica Curry each composed four of the hymns.
Finally, the Durham Light Infantry collection (DLI), cared for by Durham County Council and owned by the Trustees of the Regimental and Chattels Charity of the Former Durham Light Infantry, has contributed significantly to the online content available for people to view via the council’s website, including a selection of five war poems, read by Gerald McNally, who donated an anthology of recorded First World War poems called ‘Voices of the Fallen’ to the DLI Collection. Gerald recorded the poems all written by young men who went to fight in the Great War in dedication to the memory of those who fought in the terrible conflict. The poems can be heard with kind permission of the McNally family.
Durham County Council has developed a special page of the website where all Remembrance Day content will be made available. For more information and to see the full Remembrance Day 2020 programme, visit: https://www.durham.gov.uk/remembrance2020.
As every year, the council is supporting the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. For more information visit https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/