LUDLOW, Tenbury and market towns and villages will mark an anniversary that no one could have imagined.

A minute’s silence, at 12 midday and a national doorstep vigil, at 8.00pm, form part of a day of reflection to mark the anniversary of the start of the first Covid lockdown on Tuesday.

More than 120,000 people have died with a Covid-19 diagnosis in the UK since the first case early in 2020, more than double the number of civilians killed as a result of enemy action during the second world war between September 1939 and May 1945.

The government announced the first national stay-at-home order on March 23 2020 and at that time the total number of recorded deaths linked to coronavirus in the UK was 335. There have now been more than 143,000 deaths and the final count is bound to be higher.

The initiative, proposed and developed by Marie Curie Cancer Care, has the backing of the Prime Minister. The minute of silence will be at 12 midday and, later that day, people are encouraged to light up their doorsteps.

People will help to create a nationwide ‘beacon of remembrance’ on their doorsteps by beaming phones, candles and torches into the night sky at 8.00pm.

Marie Curie chief executive Matthew Reed said it was ‘important that we all come together to reflect on our collective loss, celebrate the lives of the special people no longer here, support those who’ve been bereaved and look towards a much brighter future.’

A series of free online talks organised by the Good Grief Festival take place, featuring experts and bereaved families.