Armistice 100: First World War sacrifice remembered with Shrouds of the Somme service

The service in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Picture: Sophie Morton

The service in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Picture: Sophie Morton - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of people gathered in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park today (Sunday) for a poignant service to mark a century since the end of the First World War.

The service in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Picture: Sophie Morton

The service in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Picture: Sophie Morton - Credit: Archant

The service, which was led by the Revd Canon Dr Flora Winfield, took place by the Shrouds of the Somme installation, where more than 72,000 small shrouded figures were laid out, each depicting a soldier who lost his life in the battle and who has no known grave.

She said: “We offer thanksgiving for the sacrifice of those who came from these boroughs of London and from all sides of the world.”

Two poems were read, one by Lili Fairclough from Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy who read a composition she wrote for the Never Such Innocence First World War poetry competition, and one by actor Jim Carter, who read For The Fallen by Robert Laurence Binyon.

As well as the Last Post being played by WO2 Daniel Shave from the Royal Artillery Band and a two minutes’ silence being observed, the service included the blowing of whistles, which exhibition chairman Jake Moores said “would be the last thing many of these men heard before they went over the top”.

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It was one of a number of Remembrance Day services to take place in Newham to mark the centenary of Armistice.

These included a ceremony at the Cenotaph in Central Park, East Ham, as well as ones at war memorials in North Woolwich and Canning Town.

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