President of the Hornchurch Royal British Legion is made honorary freeman of the borough

The president of the Hornchurch Royal British Legion says that he was ‘surprised but delighted’ to be made an honorary freeman of the borough.

David King from Osborne Road, Hornchurch was one of two people that was given the title at the last full council meeting.

David said: “It was an absolute honour.

“It was a great surprise because I always see my role as president of the legion as my duty, but it was nice to be recognised.”

The 83-year-old great grandfather was presented with a certificate and award by former Havering Mayor Cllr Melvin Wallace, surrounded by his family, friends and Havering Councillors.

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David was conscripted to the British Army in 1947 and served with the Royal Electric Engineers in the Army of occupation in Germany.

He says that he signed up to the Hornchurch Branch of the Royal British Legion 40-years-ago, but could not committ himself fully.

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He said: “Me and my wife, Pamela signed up because on Saturdays they did ballroom dancing and that was one of the things that we loved.

“I recognised the work of the Royal British Legion but because of my work, I did not have the time to help.”

When he retired in 1992, David became a committee member of the Hornchurch Royal British Legion.

For the first year, David was responsible for the collecting and delivering poppies to schools and shops in Hornchurch.

He took on a bigger role in the Poppy Appeal when he took charge of the Poppy Appeal in Hornchurch in 1993.

Since he has been doing the appeal, more than �600,000 has been raised in Hornchurch.

In 1994, David became president of the Hornchurch Royal British Legion.

David said: “The Hornchurch Royal British Legion was founded in 1921 and I feel so proud to be the president of a branch that has been going for so long.

“As the president I always try to remember people’s sons who didn’t come back from the war.”

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