The Lord Mayor of Oxford, in partnership with the Oxford City branch of the Royal British Legion, is set to host a Remembrance Sunday Service at the War Memorial in St Giles’ on Sunday, 12 November 2023.
Remembrance Sunday takes place on the second Sunday in November and honours those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to secure and protect our freedom.
Remembrance Sunday in 2021 was especially significant as it marked the centenary of the Royal British Legion and the return of the amazing Poppy Appeal collectors in our local communities. The parade was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Last year, The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor James Fry, was joined by military units, uniformed organisations, community groups, civic dignitaries, residents and visitors from across the county to mark Remembrance Sunday.
Representatives from the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, Oxfordshire County Council, Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue, and Help for Heroes were also in attendance.
Assembling and marching on
All contingents will offload in Beaumont Street and assemble in Magdalen Street East and West and be ready to march on from 10.00am. The order to march on will be given by the Parade Marshal. All units must be in position by the War Memorial by 10.30am. Officers laying wreaths and their wreath bearers who are not marching with a contingent should assemble at St John’s College at 10.00am with the Civic Party.
The Royal British Legion and all other ex-servicemen’s organisations will assemble in St Giles’ at the bus lay-by. The Royal British Legion and ex-servicemen’s organisations will march on with the Salvation Army band and Corruna Band & Bugles following the command from the Parade Marshal. All units must be in position by the War Memorial by 10.30am.
The Civic Party will congregate in the North Lecture Hall, St John’s College, by 10.00am, where they will be guided by City Council staff and the Mace Bearer. The party, including dignitaries from some of Oxford’s twin cities, will form up and process to the War Memorial after the Royal British Legion and ex-servicemen’s groups.
The service & wreath-laying
Military Units will then march up St Giles’ from 10.30am, followed by the civic procession that will depart from St John’s College at 10.40am.
The service will start at 10.45am, with a two-minute silence at 11.00am.
All commands during the service will be given by the Parade Marshal. Oxford Spires Scouts will be on hand to distribute the order of service and sell poppies, and members of the public are welcome to put tributes on the monument before the service.
The Salvation Army Band will accompany the hymns. The Last Post and Reveille will be sounded by buglers from the Corunna Band and Bugles.
Wreaths will be laid during the singing of ‘O God, our help in ages past’ and will commence immediately after the hymn begins. Wreaths will be laid in the following order:
Wreaths laid on the main approach to the War Memorial
- Lord Lieutenant and Lord Mayor
- Representatives from the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University
- Chairman of Oxfordshire Country Council
- Representative of the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes representative
- Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue
- Representatives from Oxford’s twin cities
The remaining wreaths will be laid as directed by the Stewards
- Representatives of the military services not marching with a contingent
- Multi faith representatives
Once wreaths have been laid, please return to your positions via the side approaches. Other representatives should lay their wreaths from both sides, returning by the same routes.
Stewards will be in attendance to assist with directing those laying wreaths.
If members of the public require British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation, the interpreter will be located at the junction of St Giles’ and Woodstock Road to the west of the dais.
The order of service last year was as follows:
- Welcome: Councillor James Fry, Lord Mayor of Oxford, and The Revd Anthony Buckley, City Rector
- Hymn: Abide with me
- Act of Penitence: The Revd Anthony Buckley, City Rector
- Messages of Remembrance from Oxford’s faith leaders
- The Flowers of the Forest: a lament by Scott Weston
- Exhortation and Kohima: To be read by a representative of the Royal British Legion and Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet
- Act of Remembrance: Representative from the Royal British Legion Oxford City Branch
- The Last Post, the Great Silence and the Reveille: Phil King, Senior Bugle Major, Bugles and Drums Detachment Oxfordshire (Rifles) Battalion ACF
- Hymn: O God, our help in ages past
- Act of Commitment: Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Brian Buchan Hymn: The Lord is my shepherd
- Intercessions: Read by a student
- The Lord’s Prayer: The Revd Anthony Buckley, City Rector
- The Blessing: The Revd Anthony Buckley, City Rector
- The National Anthem
The order of service for 2023 will be published here when it becomes available.
March off and saluting base
At the conclusion of the service all units will stay in place until the order to march off is given by the Parade Marshal. The Civic Party will return to the Saluting Base outside St John’s College in preparation for the Vice Lord Lieutenant to take the salute.
After passing the Saluting Base, all units will disperse on Magdalen Street East and West. The ex-servicemen will disperse under the order of their unit officer.
Expect road closures
All parking will be suspended on St Giles for the duration of the event, so you are advised to use public transport where possible. If it is essential for you to travel by car, a limited number of spaces will be available for Beaumont Street.
For those requiring a disabled parking space, a limited number will be available at the east end of Beaumont Street.
Beaumont Street is only accessible from the west end (Worcester Street/Walton Street/A4144). All other routes will be closed.
Botley Road is currently closed to vehicular traffic due to works being undertaken on Botley Road Bridge. The project is due to conclude in October 2023, but it is possible this may overrun. Please ensure you plan your journey and take into account any possible delays.
If you have any urgent queries, kindly contact David Hawkins in the Civic Office on 01865 252393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will likely be a service marking Armistice Day on Saturday, 11 November, starting at 10.55am, on the landing area at the top of the stairs in Oxford Town Hall. The service will likely be led by the Lord Mayor of Oxford with all welcomed to attend. There will be a two-minute silence at 11.00am.