Remembrance Day 2017: Hornchurch pays its respects to fallen servicemen and women

Hornchurch paid its respects to the fallen at a poignant Remembrance Day ceremony at St Andrew's Chu

Hornchurch paid its respects to the fallen at a poignant Remembrance Day ceremony at St Andrew's Church on Sunday after a parade through the town, Photo: Matt Clemenson - Credit: Archant

On a bright but blustery morning, the people of Hornchurch gathered to honour the men and women who gave their lives for their country earlier today.

Led by the Romford Drum & Trumpet Corps, a lengthy parade made its way up Hornchurch High Street before a poignant service at the war memorial outside St Andrew’s Church.

Members of the local police, local ambulance service, a number of cadet units and councillors – including the borough’s deputy mayor, councillor Dilip Patel – then lay wreaths at the monument while the band played Abide With Me.

Rev Barry Hobson, who has been the church’s vicar since 2007, led a short service to commemorate those Hornchurch residents who have lost their life in service, and prayed for men and women serving in the armed services today.

He said: “As we stand here today we know that war brings victims, we remember those who are victims of conflict, both soldiers and civilians, particularly those who have experienced physical and mental injury in the course of military engagement.

“We pray for healing, for those with serious life-changing injuries, that they might come to terms with that.

“Indeed, we pray for complete healing, for those who have been mentally scarred and traumatised by the effects of war.

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“And we pray for those who have been bereaved, that they will be filled with God’s strength, and surrounded by his comfort in peace.”

The assembled crowd then sang O God, Our Help in Ages Past before the Last Post was played and a minute’s silence was respectfully observed.

As the service came to an end, Rev Hobson urged the crowd to continue respecting the memory of those who have passed.

He said: “As we go from this place let us go to seek that which is just and right as we remember the sacrifice of those who gave so much.”