NEXT month's Remembrance Day service in Braintree has been cancelled because of the pandemic.

The parade has been called off for the first time in living memory because of Covid-19.

The service, which takes place in Braintree and Bocking Public Gardens at Bocking End, attracts hundreds of people, including veterans, civic dignitaries and uniformed youth groups.

Even the Second World War didn't prevent the annual ceremony going ahead.

The event is staged by the Braintree and Bocking Branch of the Royal British Legion.

Branch chairman Christopher Butcher said: "It is with great sadness to report this year's Remembrance parade and service in the public gardens will not take place due to Covid regulations.

"According to branch records even the Second World War did not stop parades and branch record go back to 1923 when the Braintree and Bocking Branch of the Royal British Legion was formed.

"In the past many dignitaries have attended our parade including the Lord Lt of Essex many times, as well as the High Sheriff of Essex, and MPs including Lord Newton and the present James Cleverly have also attended."

The Legion is now looking at alternative ways of marking the anniversary which takes place on November 11 at 11am – the time the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War.

Mr Butcher said: "The branch hope to piece together a short video to be released on social media to show 'Braintree Remembers', as this time should not be forgotten and should be kept in the memories for future generations.

"As for the Poppy Appeal, last year's total of over £23,000 will be hard to beat, but many thanks to all who contribute in whatever way they can.

"Please buy a poppy and wear it with pride. Show you care for those who made the ultimate sacrifice and help those who came after."