Council sets story straight after Remembrance criticism

Council bosses have been forced to speak out after 'misinformation' posted to social media accused them of removing wreaths laid during yesterday's Remembrance service.

Posts criticising the removal of the tributes were deemed to be untrue, with staff confirming that only a number of decorative poppies, laid prior to the event, had been removed from the cenotaph. A council spokesperson said:  

"Council officers laid temporary decorative poppies around the cenotaph for the duration of the service. After the service, these loose poppies were collected, as planned, alongside veterans from the RAF Association.

"These were taken to the First World War Memorial at the Clock Tower on Stone Street, ready for our Armistice Day service on Wednesday. This is something we do every year [and] no wreathes were removed. We would like to thank everyone who joined us to pay their respects to the people who gave so much."

The cenotaph, in Coronation Gardens, played host to the town's annual Remembrance Sunday event, which was broadcast live on Black Country Radio. The Mayor of Dudley attended the small service which featured readings and prayers by Reverend James Treasure, a two minutes silence and the laying of a number of wreaths on behalf of people and organisations who were unable to attend due to the current government restrictions.

Following the service, it is customary for decorative tributes to be taken to the town's World War One memorial, situated on Stone Street at the side of the Council House. Unveiled by Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, in 1928, this space served as Dudley's main memorial until the cenotaph was installed in 2000, to allow for larger public gatherings. Councillor David Stanley, Mayor of Dudley, said:

"This year’s Remembrance Sunday was very different to previous years as we were unable to host a parade and welcome so many organisations to attend. It is with great sadness that we have not been able to come together to remember.

"However, it was still extremely important that we paid tribute to all those who serve, or have served in the armed forces, and pay our respects to all who have made such supreme sacrifices for their country. I would also like to thank everyone who has remembered at home."

Anyone wishing to lay a wreath at either location is asked to do so in the coming days, allowing for social distancing requirements. Alternatively, tributes can be left at other memorials around the borough.


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