Veterans rehearse for Festival of Remembrance at Durham Cathedral

Veterans have been rehearsing for the Festival of Remembrance at Durham Cathedral.

The event will take place at 7pm on Saturday 13 November and marks the return of the concert and service live following the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Dean of Durham, The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett told ITV News Tyne Tees: "People will be remembering loved ones who lost their lives in conflict, but I suspect a lot of people will be mourning the loss of those who’ve died through the pandemic or maybe whose lives have been affected in some way and I think we’re going to see the ripples of that going on for years to come."

The fundraising concert, in support of The Soldiers' Charity, remembers those who have given their lives for their country and serving soldiers who put their lives at risk for our liberties today.

The night will include a muster parade and two minute's silence with thousands of poppy petals dropped from the cathedral tower.

Organiser of the event, Major Eric Ingram, said: "You do lose friends and this is the time to remember them, but also to remember everybody who has given their lives in times of conflict, you know, through wars, through recent campaigns, the Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan, but also we mustn’t forget the civilians.

"A lot of civilians died during the Blitz and indeed in the North East. On the crossing here we drop thousands of poppies from the tower. It’s an absolutely fantastic sight with all the troops and everybody else assembled in the muster parade. It’s a fantastic evening."

The evening's speaker will reflect on the role of the Navy in the Falklands War, looking ahead to the 40th anniversary of the conflict next year.

Narrated by Alasdair Hutton narrator of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, is joined by the Band of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, 102 Battalion REME Pipe Band, Durham ACF Band and Bugles, John Rowland, Julie Pendleton, Durham Musical Theatre Company, Blue Light Choir and Enter CIC.

The Muster Parade continues to grow and this year will be the largest to date with more youth organisations participating.

Captain Richard Watterson, from the Band of the Royal Fusiliers, said: "This year, back doing the whole thing again properly will be amazing, so it’s been a long time coming. This is one of the highlights of the band, this event.

"They look forward to it each year, they know it’s a good event and they know they’re going to enjoy themselves, because there’s some great stuff on the programme and it’s such a great place to play as well."