The Bedworth Armistice Day Parade and Service
11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month
Bedworth in Warwickshire retains the tradition of celebrating Armistice Day at the exact hour, day and month each year. It is now the largest and most famous Armistice Day Parade in Britain. The service is held at the War Memorial in Bedworth’s Coventry Road Cemetery in the presence of the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire representing H.M.The King, the Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth, invited dignitaries and guests, the citizens of Bedworth and the surrounding towns, and supporters from all over the country who travel to “be there” on the day.
The parade marches through Bedworth town centre before forming up in the Cemetery for the Armistice service, after which the parade marches along the Sergeant Simon Valentine Way (formally Rye Piece Ringway) where the salute is taken, wheeling left at the Pin Island to re-enter the pedestrian zone and dismisses at The Alms Houses.
The Bedworth Armistice Day Parade Route
The parade forms up in Church Walk from around 10:00hrs. Military (both serving, retired and cadets) to the front, and civilians (led by the Police Cadets) to the rear. The Parade Marshals will assist anyone unsure. We’re usually ready to march off by 10:30hrs, but it is usually 10:35hrs when we go. The Civic Party and Clergy will have left at 10:30hrs from All Saints Church, ready to meet the parade in the cemetery as it enters. Marshals will assist in getting the march into the cemetery and in order.
The cemetery has limited capacity so the service will be broadcast live on big-screen TV to those outside the cemetery. At the end of the service, the Civic Party will be escorted to the Peace Podium/Saluting Dais and formed up. In the meantime, the parade exits the cemetery through the Coventry Road gates and forms up along the Coventry Road. When the Civic Party is in position, the command is given for the parade to march off, usually led by the Pipers. The salute is taken as the various elements of the parade pass the dais. The parade marches down Sergeant Simon Valentine Way (formally Rye Piece Ringway) and wheels left at the Pin Island and into King Street. Marching up King Street, the parade wheels right at All Saints and gives an ‘eyes left’ to the memorial to Frank Parsons, proceeding into All Saints Square and wheeling right into the Alms Houses and follows the pathway round to dismiss in front of the Alms Houses.
The parade is generally over by 12:30hrs. There are many venues in the town centre doing refreshments.