Photo: Phil McConnell

VE Day: 75th anniversary tributes paid at Bramley War Memorial

8 May 2020

Photos: Philip McConnell & Simon Cullingworth

A socially distanced ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day was held at Bramley War Memorial today.

There had been plans to hold a tribute event at the memorial to honour, remember and respect all those who gave their lives in service. Previous events had seen hundreds attend.

But in the uncertain times of the Coronavirus pandemic, it was not possible to hold any community gathering.

Instead, Chair of the Friends of Bramley War Memorial Councillor Caroline Gruen, and Norah Gibson, a Friend of the Memorial, laid a single wreath to represent the respects of the community.

Cllr Caroline Gruen at the memorial. Photo: Philip McConnell

The two were socially spaced.

Norah Gibson and Cllr Gruen at Bramley War Memorial. Photo: Philip McConnell

Councillor Gruen (Lab, Bramley & Stanningley) read out “Tribute to The Millions” in a poignant silence at 3pm, the exact time that Churchill delivered his speech to millions of people gathered around their radios, 75 years ago.

Councillor Gruen read out “Tribute to The Millions”. Photo: Philip McConnell
Norah Gibson, a Friend of the Memorial. Photo: Philip McConnell

Councillor Gruen (Lab, Bramley & Stanningley) said:

“It was an extremely important moment to mark, and very sad that on this occasion, when hundreds might have gathered as they have on previous tributes in Bramley, there were just the two of us to represent their reflections.

“I’m sure many people will have reflected at home, and this was a way of reaching out to them at a special time.”

In a joint statement, councillors Kevin Ritchie and Julie Heselwood added:

“We regret that the lockdown circumstances have not allowed us to be present in person, but wish to express our own respects for those who fell, for the courage and bravery they showed, and for their families who suffered such loss.”

Dispatch photographer Simon Cullingworth also captured these images of the Memorial for VE Day:

Lest we forget. Photos: Simon Cullingworth

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Mrs Margaret Bell. says:

Even though i moved out of the area i look forward to reading the Dispatch first thing every morning. Things have changed so much since i came to Bramley in the 80s and i still keep up to the news. This is a great way of me finding out. Thank you.

westleedslife says:

Thank you for your kind comment, Mrs Bell. It means a lot to us.
John Baron, editor