March 12 2014 Latest news:
Sam Blewett, Reporter
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Sanders Drapers School has unveiled a plaque to a former pupil who was killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan.
The emotional ceremony was attended by members of his family and regiment.
Warrant Officer class 2 Ian Fisher attended the Hornchurch school along with his sister Lynda, who was at the unveiling on Friday.
Miss Fisher, 38, said: “It’s a true honour. He was a fantastic brother and it makes me very proud that our old school remembers him.”
Following a moving speech, ex-mayor Cllr Lynden Thorpe unveiled the plaque.
Simon, the father of the soldier who was serving with the 3rd Batallion The Mercian Regiment when he was killed in Helmand province on November 5, was visibly emotional throughout the service.
Before his emotions took over, he said: “This last four months have been very shocking.”
Ian’s mother, Helen, said: “It was very moving.
“I was quite taken that the school itself remembered him at the funeral with flowers and then invited us here. It’s a proud day for us.”
The couple live in Ambleside Avenue, Elm Park.
Year 8 pupil Catherine Renny, 13, approached a teacher with a poem she said she was compelled to write after learning about Ian’s death.
Catherine read the poem to the audience of students, soldiers and family members in a special assembly.
Her poem will be sent to the regiment in Afghanistan.
Col Sgt Michael MacPherson who knew Ian from when he joined the army in 1993 attended the event with regiment secretary, Maj Jim Massey.
Maj Massey said: “He’s a massive loss to the regiment.
“He was a very intelligent leader and he loved his troops as well.”
WO2 Fisher leaves a widow, Emma, and two children, aged five and seven, who are living in Germany.
The plaque is positioned below the one for Second World War pilot Raimund Sanders Draper who deliberately crashed his failing plane to avoid hitting the school.
The school was named after the pilot hero in 1973.