Remembrance Sunday works best on a cold crisp day: somehow the sense of sadness for The Fallen is sharply accentuated. If it took place on a warm summer’s day, the sun on our backs would, perhaps, induce too great a sense of well being and winter bleakness best aids contemplation of the bleak.

Curiously as time has gone on, after a period when Remembrance Sunday seemed to have diminished in importance in the life of the Nation, it has gradually been restored to a place of pre-eminence in the National Calendar, so much so that when some Jobsworth decides to threaten an Englishman’s right to gather together with his or her countrymen and pay their respects to those who gave their lives for our right to so gather, it provokes righteous ire.

This letter appears in Today’s Telegraph and I reproduce it in full. It speaks for itself, in a voice of anger, controlled, of course, but anger nonetheless.

Sir – On Remembrance Sunday, in common with thousands of other small villages across the land, a dwindling little band of veterans will gather in our village and then march to the sound of our silver band to our war memorial for the time-honoured Service of Remembrance.

This parade has been an annual event since the end of the First World War, just like all the countless others in this country. However, petty bureaucracy increasingly conspires to put as many difficulties in our way as possible. Last year, we were told that instead of just popping in to the police station with a polite letter asking them for help to control traffic during our parade, a formal application to the district council under Section 21 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 would be required.

This year, not only must we apply for a formal road closure (with copies to our local police “service”, county council and highways authority), but we have been sent a stern warning that if the council is required to do extra waste collection or street cleaning as a result of our activities during the parade then an hourly charge of £54 will be raised against us.

On top of all that, I have now received a letter from our local police, telling me that we must provide a written risk assessment for the parade – a risk to the police or parade participants, I am not sure.

Where do these people come from and what education have they received?

Colonel David Black (Rtd), Osmotherley, North Yorkshire

Does anyone, I wonder, have a tumbrill and a guillotine to hand?

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