Watch: York funeral director sounds the Last Post in unique VE Day tribute

The tribute at J Rymer Funeral Directors on Penleys Grove Street. Photographs and video: Richard McDougall

A moving tribute to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day was played out on a York street today (Friday).

J Rymer Funeral Directors commemorated the milestone with a bugle call rendition of The Last Post to remember those affected by the Second World War, outside of the historic business in Penley’s Grove Street.

Residents of the Groves, observing social distancing rules, gathered outside the funeral home to witness the ceremony and take part in the two-minute silence at 11am.

J Rymer also put out flags outside the funeral home and displayed ledgers with details about the funerals the family firm conducted 75 years ago.

Poignant history

Groves’ residents watch the tribute

The business, founded in 1848, is now managed by the sixth generation of the Rymer family. It played a significant role in supporting the local community during the Second World War, making sure that as many people as possible could say goodbye to their loved ones properly.

Now, 75 years later during the Covid-19 pandemic, J Rymer continues to serve the local community through these challenging times.

Christopher Rymer started his career at J Rymer in 1986.

Christopher said: “Looking back through our old ledgers it is poignant to see that even though many brave people were losing their lives at war, life carried on at home and funerals were taking place.

“On and around 8th May 1945 J Rymer cared for many York families and conducted funerals of loved ones that they had lost.

Remembering a special day in our history
Jack Rymer

“What is sad is these people died and their sons and daughters were away at war and they did not know if they were safe. 

“Our business played a vital role in supporting the local community during the Second World War and we are honoured to be able to remember those who lost their lives while away at war and for those who lost their lives in York that remained at home.”

The local business will be making charitable donations to Help the Heroes and Age Co.