A NEW bench installed in Taunton's Vivary Park will serve as a triple memorial.

The bench marked the 77th anniversary on Sunday (June 6) of the D Day landings, which helped turn the Second World War in the Allies favour.

It also commemorates the centenary this year of the Royal British Legion and is a tribute to everyone affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

It was funded by the Charter Trustees at the request of Cllr Francesca Smith during her recently completed term as Mayor of Taunton, when several commemorative events were restricted by the pandemic.

Cllr Smith said: “It has been such a difficult year, particularly for the veterans who would normally take part in ceremonies to honour their friends and comrades, and all those who come together to mark significant dates in our civic calendar.

“Whilst we were able to commemorate these important occasions online and share them widely, I am aware that it was a very difficult time for those who value the collective experience of coming together in remembrance.

“I wanted to do something to show our lasting respect for all our serving armed forces and veterans, to show our gratitude for the support they get from the Royal British Legion, and to recognise the many others locally who have been affected in different ways by coronavirus in the past 14 months.

"I have been really inspired by the sense of community that has developed and hope this bench in our historic park will be used for rest and reflection for many years to come.”