The National Service of Remembrance usually held on the Royal Mile, will go ahead next Sunday, but will be held at Edinburgh Castle and will be closed to the public.

The annual ceremony to commemorate those who fought in the two World Wars and other conflicts since, is usually attended by many former servicemen and women and also members of the public. Due to coronavirus restrictions that will not be possible this year.

The service has been significantly scaled back, in line with events across the country, to protect public safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. The government guidance is that public gatherings are known to increase the spread of the virus.

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, will attend the service on Sunday 8 November 2020 at the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle to pay respects on behalf of the people of Scotland.

The First Minister will give a reading and lay a wreath alongside representatives of the Armed Forces and faith organisations. Due to the restrictions to manage the pandemic, local remembrance events will not be able to take place as they have in previous years. Instead, those who want to honour the fallen are able to do so in the following ways:joining the two-minute silence at 11.00 on Sunday 8 November 2020 from their doorstep as part of their community, by invite to a service at a place of worship with numbers strictly limited by organisers giving to the Scottish Poppy Appeal to support the important work it does with the Armed Forces community across Scotland.

Autumn Edinburgh Castle. Photo: Martin P. McAdam

Scottish Government buildings St Andrews House and Victoria Quay in Edinburgh will be floodlit red on Sunday 8 November in support of the Scottish Poppy Appeal.

Veterans Minister Graeme Dey said:“Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity for people in Scotland to join with others across the world to commemorate the enormous sacrifices of the two World Wars and other conflicts, but the pandemic has made that much more difficult this year.

“We understand it will be disappointing to many people that national services will not be open to the public, however, due to the risk of public gatherings spreading the virus and endangering lives, we would encourage those who want to pay their respects to do so safely in other ways.

“It is vitally important that all of us abide by the restrictions to help save lives and protect the NHS as we are remembering the incredible sacrifice that so many have made.”

Dr Claire Armstrong, chief executive of Legion Scotland, said:“It is deeply disappointing that remembrance events are being impacted in this way given their importance to so many people, but maintaining public safety is paramount.

“However, we can and must take time as a nation to observe the two-minute silence safely, and ensure we come together in spirit to pay our respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

REMEMBRANCE DAY SERVICE The Rt Hon Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh Frank Ross joined First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and senior military personnel, as well as members of the wider Armed Forces community and members of the emergency services, for the official wreath-laying ceremony at the Stone of Remembrance in 2019. More than 90 wreaths were laid at the poignant service, organised by Legion Scotland, outside Edinburgh City Chambers, to remember those who have fallen in conflicts through the years. Reverend Calum MacLeod, Minister at St Giles’ Cathedral, read Binyon’s Lines after the bugler had played the Last Post. Thereafter, a service took place across the road in St Giles’ Cathedral. Photo M Owens/Poppyscotland.