Havering pays its respects

Published: Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Huge numbers of local residents and visitors attended a series of events across Havering marking Remembrance Sunday and the 100 year anniversary of the ending of the First World War.

Romford's service of Remembrance
A packed Coronation Gardens for the service of Remembrance in Romford.

Services and parades took place on Sunday morning in Romford, Upminster, Hornchurch, Elm Park, Harold Hill, Harold Wood, and Rainham. In the evening there was a special beacon lighting ceremony held in Havering-atte-Bower.

At 10.45am around 2,500 people lined Main Road to see a march organised by the Romford branch of the Royal British Legion and led by the Royal British Legion Band and Corps of Drums Romford. They later congregated in Coronation Gardens for a service attended by the Mayor of Havering, Councillor Dilip Patel, who laid a wreath on behalf of the Council’s elected Members and its staff. Representatives from many different faiths each shared a prayer during the service.

To round off this year’s commemorative events a beacon lighting ceremony was held on the green in Havering-atte-Bower. This was part of the “Nation’s Tribute” event held across the country to pay tribute to the millions killed or wounded in battle, and those on the home front who struggled amidst pain and loss to help ensure freedom survived.

More than 300 people witnessed a bugler sounding the Last Post at 6.55pm prior to the Mayor of Havering lighting a beacon that became one of a chain of more than 1,000 Beacons of Light at locations across the UK and UK Overseas Territories. At 7.05pm Havering’s Town Crier, Harry Matthews, joined more than 100 fellow Town Criers across the world in reading out read out an International Cry For Peace Around the World before the bells at St. John the Evangelist Church rang out for peace as part of a celebration marked at more than 1,000 churches and cathedrals across the UK.

Councillor Robert Benham, the Deputy Leader of Havering Council who attended both the Romford and Havering-atte-Bower events said:

“The commemorations, services and parades across Havering were a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives and honoured their sacrifices. It’s very clear that local people are marking Remembrance Sunday in ever greater numbers, a century on from the end of World War One.”