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Dozens turn out to mark Merchant Navy Day at special service held in Elm Park

PUBLISHED: 17:30 08 September 2020

Six standard bearers were included in the service - The Royal British Legion for Elm Park, Chingford, Ilford and Manor Park, alongside the Merchant Navy Ensign and Union Jack. Picture: Andrew Ruff

Six standard bearers were included in the service - The Royal British Legion for Elm Park, Chingford, Ilford and Manor Park, alongside the Merchant Navy Ensign and Union Jack. Picture: Andrew Ruff

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Merchant Navy Day was marked with a special service held at Elm Park’s St Nicholas Church.

L-R: Father David Perry, Father Tom Keighley and Reverand Amanda Keighley, all of whom were involved in Sunday's service. Picture: Andrew RuffL-R: Father David Perry, Father Tom Keighley and Reverand Amanda Keighley, all of whom were involved in Sunday's service. Picture: Andrew Ruff

The service — held on Sunday, September 6 — honoured the brave British men and women who were in the Navy during both world wars.

Merchant Navy Day has fallen on September 3 annually since its inception in 2000.

The commemoration began at St Nicholas Church, with the Reverend Amanda Keighley, Father Tom Keighley and Father David Perry all in attendance.

Rev Keighley read the David Partidge poem Heroes, the lines of which pay homage to this particular group:

People gathered outside the Elm Park Royal British Legion for a short ceremony in which a wreath was laid to commemorate Merchant Navy Day. Picture: Andrew RuffPeople gathered outside the Elm Park Royal British Legion for a short ceremony in which a wreath was laid to commemorate Merchant Navy Day. Picture: Andrew Ruff

“Don’t speak to me of heroes until you’ve heard the tale

Of Britain’s merchant seamen who sailed through storm and gale

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To keep those lifelines open in our hour of need

Councillor Barry Mugglestone from the Residents' Group party attended the ceremony as part of his work in the Elm Park ward. Picture: Andrew RuffCouncillor Barry Mugglestone from the Residents' Group party attended the ceremony as part of his work in the Elm Park ward. Picture: Andrew Ruff

When a tyrant cast a shadow across our Island breed.”

The group of around 65 people stood in reverance while the Rev Keighley spoke these poignant words.

Also in attendance were six standard bearers, including flags from the Royal British Legion branches in Elm Park, Chingford, Ilford and Manor Park, alongside the Merchant Navy Ensign and the Union Jack.

Following the service the group made its way to a short ceremony at the Elm Park Royal British Legion, held by branch chairman and Residents’ Group councillor Barry Mugglestone.

Cllr Mugglestone spoke a few words and laid a wreath to pay his respects.

His Elm Park ward and Residents’ Group Party colleague Cllr Stephanie Nunn said: “We remembered all those who served in conflicts worldwide and those who are serving today. Always we hope for peace.”

The service was also streamed to the Merchant Navy on the Portuguese island of Madeira.


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