Thousands pay tribute to Covid-19 victims in new online memorial book

Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent

The Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral has been “overwhelmed” by the response of families and friends to the new online book of remembrance for Covid-19 victims.

David Ison has led the project, called Remember Me, and said it was “incredibly moving” to see the tributes left with more than 3,000 names.

The Prince of Wales gave his backing to the initiative when it was launched last Friday, saying the coronavirus outbreak had “brought tragedy and heartbreak” for “too many” and the virtual book would help keep alive the memories of those who have died.

The Dean said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response to Remember Me. We were moved to start the project because so many people across the country were unable to say goodbye or mourn their loved ones in the usual ways.

Screengrab from the website of the Remember Me initiative (St Paul’s Cathedral/PA)

“It has been incredibly moving to see the messages from family, friends and carers.

“It reminds us that every person who has died as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic is not merely a statistic in a health crisis – but a person, valued, missed and worthy of remembrance.”

The number of deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK is well over 40,000 according to the latest available data, with many dying in hospital alone and the numbers of mourners at funerals limited.

The Dean and colleagues took just over five weeks to design and build an online portal where the bereaved of all faiths and none can “put that grief and that remembrance”.

Screengrab from the website of the Remember Me initiative (St Paul’s Cathedral/PA)

Family and friends have entered 3,147 names into the online book since it was officially opened on May 22.

The Remember Me site will also become a physical memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral, funds allowing, with designs approved for a new inner porch in the north transept.

Relatives and friends of all those living in the UK who have died as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic can submit for free a name, photograph and a short message in honour of their loved one to the memorial website.