First World War hero honoured at Hornchurch Country Park funday

PUBLISHED: 12:17 05 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:23 06 September 2016

Deputy Lt Col Mark Bryant, Mike Warner, Cllr Melvin Wallace and Sally Miller at the roundel

Deputy Lt Col Mark Bryant, Mike Warner, Cllr Melvin Wallace and Sally Miller at the roundel


Members of the community gathered to mark the centenary of the first pilot to shoot down a German airship over Britain during the First World War, on Saturday.

Lt William Leefe Robinson took off from Hornchurch Airfield - now the site of Hornchurch Country Park - on Sunday, September 3, 1916 and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery.

To mark the historic date, the Friends of Ingrebourne Valley and Hornchurch Country Park held a commemorative ceremony and a funday complete with dazzling displays, 1940s music, a barbecue and children’s activities.

Ray Randall, vice chair of the park group said: “It went very well, there was lots of people there.

“The Essex Regiment did a military display. We also had a replica aircraft.

“Everybody loved it. It was fantastic.”

A sculpture, by Julian Stocks, based on an RAF roundel entitled First Things First - the motto of Hornchurch Airfield, was unveiled by Dep Lt Col Mark Bryant MBE and Cllr Melvin Wallace, cabinet member for culture and community engagement.

Community members contributed to the sculpture by designing their own roundels which have been incorporated into the design.

The sculpture is interactive and can be touched, sat on or used for brass rubbing.

Committee member, Liz Hawthorne said: “It is a chance for us to make sure that the park and the massive part it played during the war in protecting the south east is recognised.”

A unique “living museum” booth was also unveiled at the event by The Essex Wildlife Trust, based at Broxhill Rd, Havering-atte-Bower.

The interactive booth provides information about the park and its history using photographs, videos and recordings.

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

A councillor is warning residents to be wary of giving any personal details over the phone, as fraudsters have been targeting people in the borough.

Yesterday, 15:04

Pupils at an Upminster primary school learned about the importance of resilience from creative writing workshops taught by West Ham United’s Foundation.

Yesterday, 12:08

An Elm Park florist who is a renowned “chatterbox’ raised more than £400 for charity as she “shut up for Addup” and stayed silent for 12 hours.

Yesterday, 11:35

Tube drivers have u-turned on their strike plans yet again and will now be walking out for 24 hours on Wednesday, April 11.

Yesterday, 10:02

A team of memory joggers took to the streets of Romford, leading the search for the borough’s missing £1million European Millionaire Maker winner.

Yesterday, 07:00

A man accused of murdering a drug addict in Harold Hill, was pressured not to “snitch” on another defendant, the Old Bailey heard yesterday, Tuesday, March 20.

Tue, 16:00

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and information following a fatal collision this morning.

Tue, 14:20

A shop in Upminster was robbed by two men with a 15-inch knife and a hammer.


Fed up with haggling on people’s drives over a used car, only to find out later it’s on its last legs?

Many drivers will be heading to the showrooms in March looking to pick up a car bearing the shiny new 18 registration plate.

Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now