Remembrance Sunday is one of the most poignant dates in the calendar, a chance for the nation to honour the fallen of two World Wars and those who have sacrificed their lives in service of their country.

It is usually marked by large crowds gathering to pay their respects at war memorials and parades led by proud members of the armed forces community.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the importance of maintaining social distancing, this year's commemorations are going to be very different.

But that does not mean Greater Manchester will not be remembering those who gave their lives in conflict next month.

All ten boroughs in the city region have made plans to allow people to mark both Remembrance Sunday, which falls on November 8, and Armistice Day, on November 11.

Residents are being asked to 'remember from home' by watching special services streamed online, sharing videos and pictures on social media and taking part in a two-minutes silence.

Below is a full run down of how each borough is marking the occasion and how residents can get involved.

Bolton

A small church service will be held at Bolton Parish Church on Remembrance Sunday.

Attendance will be by invitation only with priority being given to armed forces organisations.

Members of the public will be able to watch the service live on the council website and it will also be broadcast on Bolton FM.

All other services and parades across the borough have been cancelled.

However, wreaths can be laid at the borough’s war memorials at any time between Remembrance and Armistice Day on November 11.

Marshals will be in place on Victoria Square during busy periods to offer advice and guidance.

Remembrance Sunday events are taking place in Bolton

The council is also encouraging people to mark the Remembrance Sunday by taking part in a two-minute silence from their doorsteps at 11am

Those who post video footage on social media are asked to copy in the Mayor’s Office social media accounts for sharing.

The Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Linda Thomas, said it was disappointing that the traditional parades and ceremonies could not take place this year, but people’s health had to come first.

She said: “We would like to welcome people to show their appreciation and to take part in an act of remembrance by placing photographs, drawings and artwork of poppies in the windows of their homes, and places of work, in a similar way to which we supported our NHS workers during lockdown.”

Bury

No parades or ceremonies will take place at cenotaphs or war memorials in the borough on Remembrance Sunday or Armistice Day.

Instead residents are invited to mark the occasion at home and online, similar to the VE Day celebrations held earlier this year.

There will be short video messages from the Mayor and council leader to mark Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day, with pre-recorded tributes and wreath-laying to be shared on social media.

Residents are also encouraged to share their messages online using the hashtag #BuryRemembers

Bury Parish Church will livestream an extended service from 10am on Remembrance Sunday via its Facebook page.

Details about other ways residents can pay their respects can be found on the council’s dedicated webpage.

Councillor David Jones, cabinet member for communities and emergency planning, said: “Bury has a long and proud military history and, while it is heartbreaking that we cannot mark the sacrifices of previous generations in the usual way, we need to everything we can to keep today’s citizens safe.

“Organisers of the various services and parades across the borough are being highly responsible, advising people to lay their wreaths in the days around Armistice Day and putting online events in place so people can still feel part of the Remembrance events from home.

“I urge everyone to follow the rules and play their part in getting the transmission rate down so we can get back to normal life as soon as we can.”

Services at churches and other places of worship may go ahead provided social distancing is adhered to, but at no point should be moved outside for people to gather.

Those who wish to lay a wreath at a site of remembrance are asked to avoid 11am on Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day to reduce the risks of crowds gathering and increasing the risk of coronavirus transmission.

Residents should not meet up in groups of more than six while doing so.

Further advice on remaining Covid secure is available from Bury Council . Email [email protected]

Manchester

Remembrance Sunday in Manchester last year.

There will be no parade or public service at the cenotaph in the city centre this year.

Instead people will be able to watch a pre-recorded service at 11am on Remembrance Sunday November 8 on the Manchester City Council Facebook page.

Residents are also being urged to undertake their own acts of remembrance at home by observing the two-minute silence, displaying an image of a poppy in their window, and watching the pre-recorded service.

Manchester Central Library will be lit up red from 8 -11 November to pay tribute to those men and women who died while serving their country. People who wish to lay a wreath are encouraged to do so at home or a local war memorial.

Manchester’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Tommy Judge, said: “It is very sad we are unable to gather together for the city’s annual Remembrance Sunday, but I am sure you will understand that the safety of all those who would usually have taken part or supported the event is our highest priority.

“I would like to encourage the people of Manchester to take the time to remember, from the safety of their own homes, the ultimate sacrifice paid by those to whom we owe so much. Whilst we can’t gather as a community, we can still remember as a community.

“We will remember them, wherever we are."

Council bosses are urging people not to come to the city centre on Remembrance Sunday as under Tier 3 guidelines all unnecessary travel should be avoided.

Oldham

A special remembrance service will be streamed online this year to ensure residents can safely commemorate the fallen.

Held at Oldham Parish Church at 11am on Remembrance Sunday, it will be a closed event for civic dignitaries, the Royal British Legion (RBL) and the armed forces.

Oldham council leader Sean Fielding, said: “It is very sad that we cannot come together as a community this year to remember those who have lost their lives in war.

“Whilst we wish things could be different, we have had to make a decision on how best we could still commemorate remembrance safely.

“So while we will have to view Oldham’s Remembrance Service from home this year, please know that the sentiment of participating in a minute’s silence from home is just as meaningful and as heartfelt as it would be if you were at your nearby cenotaph.”

Oldham council leader Sean Fielding

Wreaths will be laid at Oldham’s six districts but will not be accompanied by parades. Instead, this will be pre-recorded and streamed for people to watch on Remembrance Sunday.

Oldham’s Civic Tower and Oldham Parish Church will also be lit up with poppies for an entire week starting from November 4 until Armistice Day on November 11.

People are welcome to visit their local war memorial to pay their respects, but are asked not to lay poppies or wreaths at 11am to prevent crowds from gathering.

Residents are encouraged to add a tribute to RBL’s online field of remembrance and download an A4 Poppy poster from their website.

For more information on this year’s remembrance Service visit oldham.gov.uk/RemembranceSunday

Rochdale

In line with the national advice there will be no official parades and services taking place on Remembrance Sunday.

Instead residents and veterans are encouraged to pay their respects at home, by observing the national two-minute silence and following the council’s videos, pictures and social media coverage.

Coun Janet Emsley, cabinet member for the armed forces said: "We are immensely proud of our armed forces past and present. This year's Remembrance Sunday will of course be commemorated, albeit probably in a different way. With the safety of veterans and residents the number one priority, we will be asking people to 'remember at home'.

Poppy wreath for Remembrance Sunday

"Our Armed Forces have always fought for us, now it's our turn to fight for them by ensuring these brave men and women are protected at this crucial stage in the pandemic, in line with the COVID-19 rules around public gatherings."

Councillor Emsley added that the council would shortly be announcing further details of how the day can be followed online.

David Forbes, president of the Rochdale branch of the Royal British Legion, said: "I am pleased that the council is encouraging people to commemorate the day at home. The health and wellbeing of residents and veterans is paramount.

“Everyone will have the opportunity to pay their respects, from the safety of their living rooms, as the borough comes together to reflect and remember on Sunday, 8 November 2020. Lest we forget."

Salford

Salford residents are being asked to ‘make a sacrifice’ and commemorate Remembrance Sunday at home this year because of COVID-19.

They will be able to pay their respects by watching a remembrance and a wreath laying ceremony over the internet from 11am.

The Ceremonial Mayor of Salford, Councillor Charlie McIntyre, said this year would be different but no less dignified or heartfelt.

“Everyone of us across the country is fighting an invisible enemy this year – coronavirus. As a result, we have seen unprecedented but necessary restrictions on our lives to try and win the battle,” he said.

"So many brave men and women paid the ultimate price and showed incredible spirit during so many conflicts. Staying home to pay quiet tribute to them instead is our sacrifice this year.”

He also said that calls for people to stand on their doorsteps and observe two minutes’ silence - harking back to NHS tributes during full lockdown - were ‘a wonderful idea’.

Salford City Council is displaying memorial banners and a giant poppy on the Civic Centre and has posted ideas on its website under the banner Remember at Home for ways to pay tribute during the day.

Subject to any changes in government coronavirus guidance or restrictions, church services can go ahead with Covid-19 secure measures in place.

Stockport

Stockport residents are being encouraged to pay their respects at home on Remembrance Sunday in line with national guidance.

A private civic commemoration will take place and the event will be streamed live on the council’s website.

But there will be no public events at war memorials or cenotaphs in the borough on Remembrance Sunday or Armistice Day.

Council bosses say they have worked with the armed forces community to make sure everyone is able to reflect and remember safely.

Stockport Remembrance Sunday service in 2019.

The different ways residents are being encouraged to pay their respects include:

The Mayor of Stockport, Coun Dean Fitzpatrick, said: "It’s a great shame that we cannot all come together to commemorate Remembrance Day. But this year is not like any other year. And as the safety of our veterans and residents is our number one priority, we’ve had to make some changes to what we normally do.

“This is still an important time to give our thanks to all who served and died for our country and honour those veterans and actively serving members of the armed services, in what are undoubtedly difficult circumstances.”

If there are further changes to restrictions in Stockport before Remembrance Sunday, arrangements will be reviewed accordingly.

Tameside

Residents are being asked to remember in their hearts and in their homes rather than at a war memorial this year.

As usual, the Civic Mayor will lay a wreath on behalf of the borough at Ashton War Memorial, and wreaths will also be laid in other parts of the borough. None of these will feature more than six guests and there will be no bands or processions.

The council appreciates members of the public will want to lay wreaths and are strongly urging them to avoid 11am on either Remembrance Sunday or Armistice Day.

Instead, they are asked to find a time between those dates to pay their respects quietly while adhering to Covid-19 social-distancing guidelines.

A national service will be broadcast on Remembrance Sunday which people can watch from home. They are also encouraged to make a poppy to display in their window as a sign of their support for the occasion.

The Civic Mayor of Tameside, Coun Janet Cooper, said: “Remembrance Sunday is an emotional time of year and I can fully understand why people want to gather at one of our war memorials. So many of us have relatives who served in the forces and especially in the two world wars.

“Sadly, the pandemic and the chance of spreading infection prevents us from gathering as we would wish to. The coronavirus is an enemy we can’t ignore, and as those people who fought in wars would tell you, you have to respect your enemy and not provide him with an easy victory.

“As Civic Mayor it will be my great honour to lay a wreath on behalf of everyone connected with Tameside. Our fallen will not be forgotten.”

Trafford

Remembrance Sunday will again be commemorated across Trafford but this year the plan is to hold one service which represents the whole of the borough.

To comply with the current restrictions on gatherings, this will be by invitation only and unfortunately not be open to members of the public.

The number of guests - including representatives from the various elements of the armed forces, the council and other key community figures - will also be limited as a result.

However, the council is planning for the ceremony to be filmed and shared, so that people are still able to mark the occasion.

It will be live streamed on its YouTube channel so that people are still able to mark the occasion.

Trafford council was recognised for supporting veterans ealier this year. From left-to-right are Coun Judith Lloyd, Armed Forces Lead Sue Wright and Diane Eaton, Corporate Director for Adult Services, receive the award on behalf of the council

Coun Judith Lloyd, Trafford Council’s armed forces champion, said: “We are immensely proud of our brave armed forces past and present who gave their lives for this country and will be thinking of them all on this special day.

“We realise that this is a very important occasion across all of our communities and that many people will be disappointed that they will not be able to attend one of the usual ceremonies. Unfortunately, the rules on coronavirus prevent us from hosting our usual events.”

Wigan

This year no parades or outside services are being organised to avoid large gatherings.

There will be official services at the parish churches in Wigan and Leigh but numbers are limited, with priority given to armed forces organisations.

However these will be streamed live to allow people to remember the fallen.

Following the services the Mayor and Deputy Mayor will lay wreaths at the respective cenotaphs.

Residents who would like to lay wreaths or pay their respects are asked to do so throughout the day, rather than gathering at 11am.

Poppy signs will be installed at council cenotaphs to help residents with social distancing and there will be marshals in the areas during busy periods.

The authority is also encouraging residents and schools to display poppy posters and designs in their windows.

Churches may organise their own services but will be required to have their own risk assessments and Covid-safety provisions in place.

Council leader David Molyneux

Wigan council leader David Molyneux, said: “It is of course a shame that we are having to make alternative arrangements for something so important to our borough, but we are living through unprecedented times.

“Our priority, as it has been throughout the pandemic, is keeping our residents safe and following the public health guidelines.

“We have seen through our VE and VJ Day events that the borough can still come together to mark such occasions with the respect they deserve but in slightly different ways than usual. We will do so again on Remembrance Sunday.”

Councillor Clive Morgan, lead member for Armed Forces, said: “These alternative plans will still allow us to recognise the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women – as we do every year.

“As part of our armed forces covenant, the council is committed to supporting veterans and the armed forces community with Remembrance Sunday being a key part of that.

“Officers have worked to ensure these services will go ahead and we will have adequate safety guidelines in place.”

The respective services at Wigan and Leigh parish churches will have limited attendance with priority given to Armed Forces organisations.

Other ways to remember and support for the armed forces community

The British Legion has prepared online information packs for people to learn about Remembrance Day which can be found here.

Covid-19 has also meant that the Royal British Legion’s 2020 Poppy Appeal has had to go online. But families can still get involved by downloading and colouring in a Remembrance Poppy to display in their window as a show of support – visit the Poppy Appeal webpages to find out more and make a donation to the Poppy Appeal.

Local and national support is available for those in the armed forces, veterans and their families.

For those who find the remembrance period particularly difficult, the British Legion have a wellbeing helpline open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. Call 0808 802 8080 or visit this webpage where there is also an online chat function.