Armistice100: Hundreds of residents attend 'moving ceremony' and parade in Romford for Remembrance Sunday 2018
PUBLISHED: 14:59 11 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:15 13 November 2018
The people of Romford came together for an emotional ceremony on the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Hundreds of people took to the streets of Romford to watch the Remembrance Day parade led by the Royal British Legion from Western Road to the war memorial in Coronation Gardens, this morning (Sunday, November 11).
The mayor of Havering, Councillor Dilip Patel, told the Recorder: “I think it’s a very important day for our country, marking 100 years since the end of the First World War, and it’s only right that we recognise those brave men and women who lost their lives to protect our country.
“That is why we are now enjoying freedom of speech and democracy in our society.”
Rev Mike Power CF, vicar of St Edward the Confessor church in Romford led a short service in Coronation Gardens, during which two minutes’ of silence was observed.
The reverend was joined by three other religious leaders who shared prayers in their own language and called for people to strive for peace not only in their prayers, but also in their lives.
“I thought it was a very moving ceremony, especially because we didn’t just push it as a Christian service, but we had representatives from a number of different faiths,” said Keith Prince, London Assembly Member for Havering and Redbridge.
“We should remember that it was also the Commonwealth that came to our aid.”
The choir of St Edward’s church sang a hymn and the band of the Salvation Army played while the mayor, followed by members of the borough placed wreaths on the war memorial.
Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford said: “I think of the last 100 years and how privileged we have been to live in a free society, and it’s all because of the sacrifices made by those people that gave us the freedoms we have today.
“I’m proud to be here today in Romford, to see the enormous response from residents and to celebrate the fact that our country remains a free society.”
Cllr Viddy Persaud added: “It’s community cohesion. We had four different faiths represented and that is quite a strong message we’re sending to everyone - that we are united.
“Supporting this event is an absolute must.”
The Twell family came all the way from Leigh-on-Sea to remember their father Arthur Twell, who was president of the Royal British Legion when they were living in Hornchurch.
Arthur’s son, Gary Twell said: “It’s extra special for us today, because Arthur’s great-granddaughter was married yesterday and all of the family have come along to the ceremony from the wedding.
“We come here every year to remember dad and pay our respects. He used to read the last post at the ceremony.”
Phil James, formerly of the 289 unit of the parish regiment and royal horse artillery said that he felt “too emotional” to speak about how just important the day is.
He attened the ceremony with members from his unit to remember his mother-in-law’s brothers who lost their lives during the war.