Annual Manor Park Royal British Legion parade for Jack Cornwell in jeopardy

An annual parade which honours John ‘Jack’ Cornwell is unlikely to go ahead this year after the Royal British Legion club which hosts it lost its licence.

The parade has been held almost every year since 1948 to mark the death of John, known as Jack, Cornwell who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross at the age of 16 for gallantry in the face of the enemy. He died on June 2 1916 after he was injured at the gun of HMS Chester during the Battle of Jutland. Although the entire gun crew was dead or wounded, Jack remained standing at his post for more than 15 minutes until the ship retired from action.

He is buried with full military honours at Manor Park Cemetery and the Manor Park branch of the Royal British Legion has held a parade in his honour since 1948.

This year, due to the loss of the licence and the ill health of Bill Duncan, the branch president, the parade has been cancelled.

Rob Strong, from the Manor Park branch, said although their colleagues at East Ham had offered to run the parade, he felt it would not be appropriate due to the route it would take.

He is hoping they can resurrect the parade again next year.

Hundreds of people, including former and serving members of the armed forces attend the annual event which starts at the legion’s headquarters in Church Road, Manor Park and culminates at St Michael’s Church in Romford Road.