A special tribute to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme will form part of Liverpool’s Service of Remembrance on Sunday (13 November).
Led by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Roz Gladden, the service will take place at the Cenotaph on St George’s Plateau. During the service a carrier pigeon bearing a prayer for peace, which was written during the First World War, will be released. The bird symbolises those pigeons which were used to send messages from the front during what was one of the bloodiest battles of the Great War.
From 10.40am there will be performances from The Band of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, singer Danielle Louise Thomas and St Edward’s College Senior Choir, with the service officially starting at around 10.55am.
The carrier pigeon will be released, the Last Post will be played and then at 11am a firing gun will signal both the start and finish of the two-minute silence across the city.
Following the silence, wreaths will be laid at the Cenotaph and thousands of poppy petals will drop from the roof of St George’s Hall. A prayer of thanksgiving will be delivered by the Bishop of Liverpool the Right Reverend Paul Bayes, followed by a prayer from Zia Choudhry MBE, representing the Merseyside Council of Faiths. The Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon, will then lead on the Act of Dedication and Blessing.
The service, which will be attended by Merseyside's Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, will conclude with a short parade and march past, after which individuals will be invited to lay their own wreaths.
Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Roz Gladden, said: “This is one of the most important events in the city’s calendar and it’s a privilege to lead this service and encourage everyone to reflect and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.
“It is always an emotional and sombre time, and with the addition of the symbolic carrier pigeon, along with the poppy drop it will be a moving ceremony that is a fitting tribute to those men and women who lost their lives fighting for our freedom.
“It is always an extremely well attended event, around 10,000 gathered last year, and I hope as many people as possible to come along on Sunday, wear their poppy with pride and show their support for our service personnel, their families and friends, and the hard work and dedication of the Royal British Legion.”
The service, commentary for which will be provided by BBC Radio Merseyside’s Roger Phillips, will also be shown on a large screen so everyone attending the event will be able to watch the proceedings.
Please note that on Sunday 13 November, the following road closures will be in place:
- William Brown Street/Lime Street (7am to 1pm)
- William Brown Street/Old Haymarket (7am to 1pm)
- Lime Street from London Road to Copperas Hill (9.30am–1.00pm)
- St John’s Lane & St George’s Place between Old Haymarket and Lime Street (9.30am-1.00pm)
- Access to the Holiday Inn Hotel & St John’s car park will be maintained from Skelhorne Street
- Lord Nelson Street from Hotham Street to Lime Street
- Queens Square Bus Station (9.30am to 1.00pm)
- The Queensway Tunnel (the Birkenhead Tunnel) will also be closed in both directions on Sunday for essential maintenance. Drivers are advised to use the Kingsway (Wallasey) Tunnel which will be open, but to allow for extra journey times in case of delays.
The Queensway Tunnel (the Birkenhead Tunnel) will also be closed in both directions on Sunday for essential maintenance. Drivers are advised to use the Kingsway (Wallasey) Tunnel which will be open, but to allow for extra journey times in case of delays.