War dead remembered in Romford Armistice Day ceremonies

More are turning up to events, organisers say

VETERANS, politicians, cadets and residents braved the windy weather to remember service men and women killed since the Great War this morning.

As two minute silences were held around the borough, Havering’s Mayor joined with other councillors, former servicemen and Sea Cadets from TC Hurricane to honour fallen service men and women during Romford’s Armistice Day memorial in Romford Market Place.

Rev Barbara Dennis, vicar of St Edward the Confessor in Market Place performed the service.

At 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, after the signing of an armistice, the slaughter of World War One on the Western Front in finally ceased and silence fell on the fields of Belgium and northern France.

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Since then people have gathered together on that day, as well as Remembrance Sunday, on Sunday (November 14).

The event was organised by the Royal British Legion and the Royal Naval Association.

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Branch chairman of the Romford Royal British Legion, George Dryburgh said: “It went really well. We’d always like more people to turn up but I think people are commemorating more these days. Afghanistan has affected our turnout positively; when guys and girls come back with missing limbs it really brings it home to people.”

Mr Dryburgh, formerly of the Second Battalion Scots Guards who served in Northern Ireland, added: “Being an ex-serviceman myself it’s only right we remember. I think of those who fell from my regiment. I lost a good few friends in the Falklands conflict.”

One school decided to honour the fallen by creating giant poppies and decorating their school, Crowlands Primary School in London Road, Romford with them.

They also wrote commemorative poems to post around the school and rang a bell at its front when the two minutes silence was due to begin.

Crowlands’ Gillian Linehan said: “The number of people who stop traffic because they are so interested is amazing.

“We’ve had some fantastic words from the children. They’re not just working about the First and Second World Wars, they’re thinking about the soldiers in the war we’re currently in.

“They’re probably more aware of it than some of us adults – British soldiers have been at war their entire lives. It affects everyone.”

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