'Record number of wreaths' laid in Harold Wood for Remembrance Sunday

Harold Wood war memorial

Police and musicians at the war memorial with councillors and other attendees. Nick Joseph is with his mother 103-year-old Mary Joseph. - Credit: Brian Eagling

A Harold Wood councillor is "gobsmacked" by the number of wreaths laid at a Remembrance Sunday service this year.  

On November 14, a service organised by Harold Wood councillors Brian Eagling, Martin Goode and Darren Wise was held outside Harold Wood Library’s war memorial.  

In the lead up to the ceremony, Cllr Eagling encouraged businesses to buy a poppy wreath and managed to fundraise £440 with 22 wreaths for the Royal British Legion’s (RBL) Poppy Appeal 2021.  

Cllr Eagling said he is “so proud” of the community for the donations to and attendance at the event.  

He said: “It brings a tear to my eye. It’s lovely to think what a lovely community Harold Wood is.  

“I have lived here for almost 50 years, and the number of wreaths around the war memorial this year is incredible.”  

The service saw more than 200 residents attend to pay respects to those who sacrificed their lives at war, including 103-year-old Mary Joseph. 

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Cllr Eagling said: “I think it is a very special day and it’s important for the community to gather in Harold Wood. It was also nice to see kids in attendance alongside our oldest attendee Mary.” 

During the service, wreath-laying was accompanied by bagpipe playing.

Attendees included Harold Wood members of the RBL, Major Pervez Badruddin, Sgt David Treslove of the Fourth Battalion Parachute Regiment, Staff Sgt Mark Flood, First Royal School of Military Engineering Regiment and members of the police.  

The wreaths will remain in place for around a year, with maintenance from the Harold Wood councillors.  

“The poppy wreaths have got to look right, it’s something you can’t just ignore and it’s very special to us,” added Cllr Eagling, who thanked Tesco's Gallows Corner and Harold Wood Co-op for donations and Harold Wood Funeral Services and McDonald's for sponsorship.

A remembrance service was also held in Harold Hill at the war memorial in Hilldene Avenue. 

Heaton Ward councillor Denis O'Flynn, who gives a speech at the service each year, said he was "very proud" to see a lot of young people in attendance.

He said: "I reminded people as to why we attend the service and I reminded them that as a result of the courage and tenacity of the people who served for our country, we have remained the champions of democracy for all of Europe."

There were also services in Romford, Upminster and around Havering.

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