Memorial ceremony held to remember victims of Romford’s worst war bombing
PUBLISHED: 16:30 22 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:52 22 April 2016
A service of remembrance for people who lost their lives one terrible night during the Second World War was held on Tuesday.
Members of the Royal British Legion lower flags in a mark of respect at the 75th anniversary of Romford's worst war time air-raid. Photo: Ann-Marie Abbasah/Archant
Pupils from Crownfield Junior School recited poem "We Remember Them" at the 75th commemorative ceremony for victims of Romford's worst war time air-raid. Photo: Ann-Marie Abbasah/Archant
Family members of those lost in Romford's worst war time air-raid gathered to honour the memory of their loved ones with members of the community. Photo: Ann-Marie Abbasah/Archant
A memorial stone for members of the Barclay family Members who died in 75 years ago in Romford's worst war time air-raid. Photo: Ann-Marie Abbasah/Archant
Beautifully decorated graves to vicitms of Romford's worst war time air-raid. Photo: Ann-Marie Abbasah/Archant
Havering Mayor Brian Eagling, Reverend David Banting and Lee Macey (second right) Bereavement Services manager singing hymns at the 75th anniversary of Romford's worst war time air-raid. Photo: Ann-Marie Abbasah/Archant
A wreath laid at the memorial for victims of Romford's worst war time air-raid. Photo: Ann-Marie Abbasah/Archant
The event was dedicated to the memory of the 44 victims from Essex Road and Hillfoot Avenue, both in Collier Row, who died on April 19 1941 – the borough’s worst wartime air-raid.
Eleven people from Brentwood Road, Gidea Park, and Stanley Road, Hornchurch, were also honoured.
As the sun shone on those paying their respects, Rev David Banting said: “We remember all who lost their lives on that night.”
Members of the Romford branch of the Royal British Legion, carrying flags, led the procession to the memorial garden at Romford Cemetery, Crow Lane.
Members of the Salvation Army Band led a musical accompaniment as mourners sang a hymn called Through All the Changing Scenes of Life.
Relatives, including those representing the Limehouse and Barclay families, watched as Cllr Brian Eagling, the mayor of Havering, laid a wreath.
Rev Banting added: “Let this ordeal be remembered in a fitting memorial.
“Let this plaque stand as a reminder for deliverance and thanksgiving.”
In a moment of reflection, a bugler of the Royal British Legion played The Last Post and Reveille.
Paying reference to wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, Rev Banting said: “We are here celebrating the past, victory and the present peace and the future hope.
“Young people are the present and our future.”
Twelve pupils from Crownfield Junior School, White Hart Lane, Collier Row, then read a moving poem called We Remember Them.
The day brought a sense of achievement for William Barclay, 69, from Clacton-on-Sea, who fought for 18 months to have a plaque referencing his family in the tragedy.
The difficulty being some remains were unable to be officially identified.
Mr Barclay said: “My father’s mother, brothers, sisters and cousin were killed.
“My father was in the Navy and attended the funeral of his family here in 1941.”