Harold Hill celebrates one of its biggest Remembrance Sunday turnouts

Fourteen years after a nine-tonne granite boulder commemorating those who gave their lives in conflict was unveiled in Harold Hill, the area celebrated one of its biggest Remembrance Sunday turnouts.

The parade from the St George’s Centre, Chippenham Road, to the boulder at the foot of Hilldene Avenue was led by army cadets and also included St John’s Ambulance volunteers, police cadets, and cubs, scouts and beavers from the 1st and 3rd Harold Hill groups.

Heaton ward councillor Denis O’Flynn, wearing his own medals for service in the Suez Canal region, general service and national service, led those who laid wreaths at the foot of the memorial boulder in front of the Farnham Road shopping centre. Cllr Keith Darvill was also among the wreath bearers.

Addressing the crowd of veterans, families and volunteer groups, he said: “We hope the older people along us will pass on the message of their sacrifice and what it meant. We thank them for their families for the memories that they maintain.

“The numbers that gather here have grown over the years from a handful on the first occasion.”

Referring to the more than 400 British soldiers who have so far been killed in Afghanistan, he added: “We send our deepest sympathies to their families.

“But sympathy isn’t enough – we want an end to the war and an end to terrorism for us and other societies.”