July 25 2014 Latest news:
Beth Wyatt, Reporter
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Four Maori soldiers who died in Hornchurch more than 100 years ago are to be commemorated.
Privates Vasau, 22, Filitoua, 22, Taleva, 25, and rumoured royal prince Moki, 21, will be remembered at a service in front of St Andrew’s Church, High Street, where their graves lie.
The men were among 102 Maoris who came from the island of Niue, in the South Pacific, to the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital at the Grey Towers mansion in 1916.
However, the climate was difficult for them to adjust to and many died from pneumonia, including Prince Moki in 1916.
The service at 11am on August 4, the day Britain declared war on Germany 100 years ago, will also remember the 211 Hornchurch men who died during the First World War.
It is being organised by Dave King, president of the Hornchurch Royal British Legion, and Brian Hobson, the vicar of the church.
Cllr John Mylod said: “I was shocked to find out that 211 men died so we could have freedom - it seems so many for what was a small place like Hornchurch.
“Although war is not a reason to celebrate, it should be commemorated need we forget the terrible sufferings and casualties.”