Monday, March 9, 2015

Commemorations for the centenary of the First World War continue this year and the Recorder would love to hear your stories.

The group at the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial Park in the Somme. Picture: Erica Spurrier/Equity

A curtain was drawn on an era when 111-year-old Harry Patch drew his last breath in 2009.

Reporter Beth Wyatt at the grave of her great-great uncle Sidney Stone, in the Somme. Picture: Erica Spurrier/Equity

As a former history student and the co-ordinator of my team’s First World War centenary coverage, I jumped at the chance to go on the tour.

Teacher Joshua Alford and pupils Raul Simmons-Perez, 16, and Nico Zavrou Blackstock, 16, from East Barnet School, Barnet, with their clay figures. Picture: Erica Spurrier/Equity

After visiting eight cemeteries and memorials, one museum and a commemorative workshop, our tour came to an end.

The group at the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial Park in the Somme. Picture: Erica Spurrier/Equity

On July 1 1916, thousands of soldiers walked across to German lines on the Western Front and began their assaults, confident their enemy had been weakened by a week-long bombardment of 1.6 million shells.

The British ambassador to Belgium, Alison Rose (centre), with the soldiers and pupils at the Menin Gate before the ceremony. Picture: Erica Spurrier/Equity

The fate of British deserters and the stories which lie behind every war grave were among topics considered by the students yesterday.

A British soldier paying his respects at the grave of a comrade. Picture: PA

Sixteen million deaths, 20 million wounded, six million missing. These are the cold, stark facts of the Great War, the world’s first truly modern conflict.

Paul Jenkins with the Dead Man's Penny he found more than 30 years ago in Gidea Park

It was found in the ground coated with paint and tar, and forgotten about for 30 years – but it’s the remembrance a fallen soldier deserves.

Exhibition volunteers at the Old Chapel with heritage officer Gemma Smith (right)

The human faces of the First World War have been brought to life in a poignant new exhibition.

Cupid in 1914. [Picture: Cupid's War by Martin Laurie]

The tales of the soldiers who fought and died in the trenches of the First World War are well known.

Remembrance Day Hornchurch (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

This morning people from all walks of life paused to remember the brave soldiers who have fought and continue to fight in conflicts around the world.

John Marshall, Kay Leiser, Linda Reynolds, Cllr Barry Mugglestone, Cllr Stephanie Nunn and David Martin (centre) fundraising for the Elm Park Royal British Legion at the Tesco supermarket in Airfield Way, Hornchurch

The Poppy Appeal is well under way for the Elm Park Royal British Legion – with members hoping to smash last year’s total.

Broadford Primary School pupils with their First World War painting

Three soldiers stand surrounded by a field of poppies, guns held high while storm clouds gather above them.

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas are campaigning for an unmark grave belonging to Arthur Bradford who fought in the First World War to be given a memorial stone. Pictured front left.

In the lead-up to Remembrance Day, MPs have joined forces to campaign for a memorial stone at the unmarked grave of a soldier.

Members of the Royal British Legion Romford, Police Cadets and Scouts joined the Mayor of Havering, Cllr Eric Munday (front centre), council leader Cllr Michael White and MP Angela Watkinson at the launch of the 2013 Poppy Appeal.

A poignant poppy appeal will be launched on Wednesday, raising money for generations of the armed forces and their families.

Club News: Studio One Artists

Friday, October 3, 2014
Members of Studio One Artists Fred Praver, 82, Alec Tiffin, 85, Pauline Fynn, 68, and Maureen Heron, 70, at their exhibition at the Cafe Gallery in Queen's Theatre

Pauline Fynn talks about her group’s passion for painting and the theme of this year’s exhibition.

Members of Studio One Artists Fred Praver, 82, Alec Tiffin, 85, Pauline Fynn, 68, and Maureen Heron, 70, at their exhibition at the Cafe Gallery in Queen's Theatre

The human faces of war are the focus of a new attraction commemorating two significant anniversaries.

Theatre manager Jai Sepple with the chair believed to have been moved by a ghost

A charity theatre that has restored two Romford war memorials and supported a social club for the elderly has made a plea for volunteers to help it continue its good work.

The Harpoon Force regiment

Soldiers often lay down their lives on missions where they are not aware of the objectives.

Andy Daniel as the eponymous Private Peaceful (Picture: Jonathan Keenan)

An actor’s 90-year-old war veteran grandfather will be the guest of honour at a Queen’s Theatre production of an acclaimed First World War-inspired play.

Hornchurch Nursing Centre held a 100th birthday party for Ivy Matthews as well as a vintage tea party that commemorated WW1. Ivy Matthews with her family.

It is not just the First World War that is marking its centenary this summer.

Representatives from the 10th Essex Regiment Living History Group outside the museum

An exhibition paying tribute to the men who fought in the “war to end all wars” was officially unveiled on Saturday.

Rainham War Memorial on Monday. Picture: Jack G

MP Jon Cruddas has demanded an explanation from Havering Council after a memorial was left hidden by scaffolding on the centenary of the First World War.

Stuart Forster had family on both sides during the first world war

Millions of people have this week been paying tribute to relatives who fought for their country in the First World War - but not many can say they had family on both sides.

Havering Show line-up revealed

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Alexander O'Neal will perform at this year's Havering Show

Fans of soul, disco and ska music will be digging out their dancing shoes after seeing the line-up for this year’s Havering Show.


This year marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, a conflict that cost around 10 million lives and changed forever the lives of those who experienced it at home or on the battlefields of Europe.

Throughout the year, the Romford Recorder will be retelling stirring tales of bravery from the frontline and highlighting the terrifying moments that those back home endured, worrying about their loved ones as they listened for the far-off rumble of guns from mainland Europe.

Was your grandfather a war hero? Do you have carefully preserved photos from that time?

Share your stories with reporter Bethany Wyatt.

Most read news

News from your area


Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Digital Edition

Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Our trusted business finder

The lights went off and the cameras came out.

Call it the X Factor, star quality, even ‘something’ but whatever ‘it’ is Ed’s not got it, says the PM.

The Ukip leader doesn’t want to be too scripted for the seven-way televised encounter.