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Rainham estate holds ceremony unveiling memorial plaque for Australian and New Zealand soldiers during world wars

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:23 16 May 2017

Dovers Farm Estate, New Zealand Way, Rainham. ANZAC Memorial service and plaque unveiling.
Standard bearers and dignatories including, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate John Cruddas (front row 2nd from left), Deputy New Zealand High Commissioner David Evans (front row 3rd from left) and Ian Andrews (3rd from right) with councillors. Picture: Melissa Page

Dovers Farm Estate, New Zealand Way, Rainham. ANZAC Memorial service and plaque unveiling. Standard bearers and dignatories including, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate John Cruddas (front row 2nd from left), Deputy New Zealand High Commissioner David Evans (front row 3rd from left) and Ian Andrews (3rd from right) with councillors. Picture: Melissa Page

Melissa Page

A memorial plaque commemorating the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) that fought in the world wars, was unveiled at the weekend.

The New Zealand deputy High Commissioner, Dagenham and Rainham candidates Jon Cruddas and Julie Marson, Romford candidate Andrew Rosindell, as well as councillors and members of the community attended the service at the Dovers Farm Estate, Rainham, on Saturday.

To mark the occasion, a bugler from the Royal British Legion Band and Corps of Drums played Last Post, a song to commemorate the war dead.

Secretary of the Dovers Farm Estate Community Group Matt Stanton described the day as “very respectful and solemn as it should be”.

He said: “It was a fantastic day.

“It did take a lot of organising from the group but it was definitely worth it.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their support in getting the plaque, not only for their donations but for their help in bringing it all together.”

From celebrating national events to community fairs, residents have been holding events on the green in New Zealand Way to raise money for the plaque for the past year and were delighted to finally see all of their hard work paid off.

Roads including New Zealand Way where the estate is, were named after soldiers from Australia and New Zealand who were based in the Rainham and Hornchurch area during the world wars.

At the service, Councillor Graham Williamson said: “The UK owes New Zealand a great debt of gratitude for their blood sacrifice over numerous conflicts.

“Frankly, today is just a small gesture from us to that great sacrifice.

“Since the formation of the Dovers Farm Estate Community Group the community spirit of the estate has grown massively as residents have rediscovered their friendships and neighbours.”

The group has also pledged to hold an annual New Zealand Day on the green in remembrance of those who fought in the wars.

Matt said: “I’m very proud of what we have been able to achieve as a community and will continue to hold these kind of events in the future.”

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