Forest Gate’s Pearly King honoured to be part of Armistice Day service
- Credit: Getty Images
After more than a decade as warden of the jewel house at the Tower of London, Bob Paice returned to the historical site for today’s service of remembrance.
Bob, who also celebrated his 66th birthday today, was among hundreds of people who have planted more than 800,000 ceramic poppies as a memorial to those who died in the First World War.
He was invited to the service by the head of security at the Tower.
He said: “I felt highly honoured to be honest. The poppies look like a red ribbon around the Tower and the way it was done is very very clever.
“It is a one-off and I think they should be taken out because people have paid for them.
“It has been a fantastic memorial to the people that lost their lives during the First World War, but I do think it is right that they should be taken down or they will just become an exhibition.”
Hundreds of people have seen the Poppy memorial but there has been a national debate about making it a permanent fixture.
- 1 Weather warning issued ahead of expected gale force winds in London
- 2 Man jailed for rape after attacking woman walking back from Canning Town
- 3 First Omicron case reported in Newham
- 4 'Important' to get back to winning ways for West Ham says Lanzini
- 5 12 people wanted after unlinked Newham robberies
- 6 West Ham showed great character and resilience to beat Chelsea says Moyes
- 7 'Extremely violent' Forest Gate robbery filmed by onlookers
- 8 Members of Mali Boys gang jailed for supplying Class A drugs into Essex
- 9 Possible travel disruptions for central London this week
- 10 The gift of giving: Where to donate food across east London this Christmas
November 11 has special significance for Bob, not just because it is his birthday. He also retired from his role as Warden of the Jewel House at the Tower on that date in 2013.
He held the post for 14 years and was a familiar face for tourists, special visitors and school children in his very distinctive “royal” livery complete with a top hat.
Bob, who lives in Bolton Road, Stratford, swapped his royal livery for the colourful clothes of a Pearly King when he retired last year and now spends his time attending charity functions across London and the Home Counties.
He has managed to raise £32,000 for St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney by holding a variety of events in over the past year.
Bob said: “About three years ago I was asked to become a “Pearly” but I had to turn it down because of work commitment, then last year when I retired I took the role on and now I go out and raise money for all sorts of charities.”