Excerpt from the Walsall Observer Newspaper 1999



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Walsall Council has run into another Remembrance Sunday row, after their wreath was laid before the service in Bloxwich.  The procession arrived at the Cenotaph at All Saints Church, Bloxwich at 10.45 am to find several tributes, including the counecl wreath, had already been laid.  But councillor Melvin Pitt (Con, Bloxwich West) who had been asked to lay the wreath said he wasn't sure of protocol and didn't mean to offend anyone.

Anne Cowley, Bloxwich Branch, Secretary of the Royal British legion, said members were very very annoyed at finding wreaths had already been laid at the Cenotaph.

I was disappointed to find the find the proper procedures hadn't been followed which meant we had to go up first, she said.

Coun Pitt was asked to lay the wreath on behalf of the council, as he is now the longest serving Bloxwich councillor.

"This was the first time I had been asked to take part and it was pointed out afterwards that I should have laid the wreath along with the procession.  I certainly didn't mean to cause any offence" he said.

Coun Pitt said he felt it was more important not to disrupt the service by taking back the wreath.

"The service was very moving, with tears falling from the eyes of war heroes and this was the most important aspect of the day".

Last week the council came under fire from The Royal British Legion over the wreath laying order for the town centre ceremony.

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