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Armistice Day: Romford remembers its fallen sons

PUBLISHED: 13:54 11 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:46 22 November 2016

The service of Remembrance at Romford Market.

The service of Remembrance at Romford Market.

Archant

Army veterans, the deputy mayor and the Romford community turned out in force to pay their respects to fallen British troops at a service for Remembrance and Armistice Day.

The usual cries of stall traders were nowhere to be heard as Romford Market fell silent this morning as standard bearers from the Royal British Legion led the service alongside the deputy mayor, cllr Linda Van den Hende, with dozens of veterans looking on.

The service was held outside the Co-op Bank, in South Street, at 11am today with hundreds of people lining the market place to observe the two minute silence.

The chairman of the Romford branch of the RAF association, Rodney Ashton, 78, who was evacuated during the Second World War, was delighted with the turn out and reminded him of the Remembrance services he attended growing up.

“In my youth it was a substantial event, I was evacuated for from Coventry to the seaside and our house in Coventry was successfully bombed.

“Those of us who have attended these things for a few years have seen, after a decline, a growth in the numbers of people coming to stand and remember and pay their respects. It seems to be getting larger year on year.”

The mayoress praised the local community for coming out in strength to remember those that have defended our freedom on the battlefield.

“It is great to see that Romford Market has come together for this time of remembrance,” said the mayoress.

“It is well worth remembering all those who have lost their lives in the past and in all conflicts, it is very important to remember the sacrifices made and I’m pleased to represent Romford.”

For some of the veterans, especially those who grew up during World War II, Remembrance and Armistice Day resonates with them on a personal level as some of them have lost friends and family members in conflicts.

Bryan Aldard, 79, served in the army between 1956 to 1958 and said he hopes future generations will not have to go through the same experiences as previous generations.

“I’ve just come to pay my respects,” said Bryan. “It means a lot to me because I lost my dad in 1944 - every day is Remembrance Day for me.

“I hope we don’t have to go through it again, I know we’ve had a few upsets but nothing as terrible as that (the First and Second World Wars).”

This year’s Poppy Appeal theme is “Rethinking Remembrance”, which the Royal British Legion hopes will encourage people to consider the younger generation of veterans, and support them in any way they can

To see a full list of Remembrance Sunday services click the link here.

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