Socially distanced Remembrance Sunday commemorates the fallen

The socially distanced Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph(Photo: ITV News)

Online services and socially distanced commemorative events were held on Sunday in tribute to the members of the armed forces who fought and died for the country.

Although England is in its second national lockdown, some events were permitted to go ahead for Remembrance Sunday with strict social distancing in place.

The Queen wore a face mask for the first time in public when she attended a low-key service at Westminster Abbey during the week to pay tribute to the Unknown Warrior.  

The private ceremony was described by a royal aide as a "simple but deeply personal act", the BBC reports. 

"The grave of the Unknown Warrior is as relevant and poignant today as it was when Her Majesty's grandfather and father stood in the Abbey at its side 100 years ago," the aide said. 

"It holds enormous significance for the country and the Royal Family. The Queen was keen that the centenary was marked appropriately."

The service at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday was the first to take place without members of the public. 

As many as 10,000 people normally gather at the Cenotaph each year, but Sunday saw only around 150 personnel from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force take part alongside members of the Royal Family. 

Across the UK, churches have been holding online Remembrance services. 

The Diocese of Durham pre-recorded its Remembrance service ahead of the lockdown that started on Thursday. 

The service at Lancaster Priority was led by Rev Canon Chris Newlands and included a reading from the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lord Shuttleworth, and a wreath laying ceremony at the Priory Regimental Chapel featuring the Mayor of Lancaster, Cllr Malcolm Thomas. 

Other guests at the service included Cllr Suzie Charles, Captain Robin Ashcroft, representing the Regimental chapel Committee, and the Ripley St Thomas CofE Academy Air Cadet Force. 

Rev Newlands said: "It is important we gather as a nation to remember those who have died in war and, at this time, we also remember all those who have died during the pandemic, including those who placed themselves in harm's way to protect people in their care."