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Remembrance Sunday 2019: Canning Town honours those who died in the line of duty and WWII South Hallsville School bombing

PUBLISHED: 15:23 10 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:23 10 November 2019

Lay reader Carole Davison leads the Canning Town service of Remembrance at the St Luke's memorial. Picture: Andrew Brookes

Lay reader Carole Davison leads the Canning Town service of Remembrance at the St Luke's memorial. Picture: Andrew Brookes

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A service in Canning Town honoured those who have died for their country - and remembered the civilians killed in a disastrous 1940 bombing nearby.

Newham councillors joined in the laying of wreaths during the service. Picture: Andrew BrookesNewham councillors joined in the laying of wreaths during the service. Picture: Andrew Brookes

Across the park from the Remembrance service at the St Luke's war memorial in Tarling Road this morning, Hallsville Primary School now stands at the site of Britain's worst civilian disaster of World War II.

Lay reader Carole Davison, who led the service, said: "We remember, of course, those people who sacrificed their lives for our future.

"But we also remember the civilian casualties... (including those) at the South Hallsville School just around the corner.

"There is a memorial with the names of those people who died in that bombing raid in the East London Cemetery."

Wreaths on the war memorial at the old St Luke's in Canning Town. Picture: Andrew BrookesWreaths on the war memorial at the old St Luke's in Canning Town. Picture: Andrew Brookes

On September 10, 1940, a bomb hit the South Hallsville School where around 600 people - many of whom had lost their homes - were sheltered while waiting to be evacuated to safer areas.

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The official death toll was recorded at 77, but it is believed several hundred people were killed by the air raid.

Members of the Royal British Legion and Newham councillors were among around 30 people gathered for this morning's service, which reflected on the sacrifices made by the men and women in the armed services and paid respects to those who lost their lives in past and present conflicts.

Readings and a crowd rendition of Amazing Grace were followed by the lowering of a flag as The Last Post was played.

Those gathered then bowed their heads to observe a two-minute silence, before the reading of the Exhortation vowed: "We shall remember them".

The Kohima Prayer was read - "When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today" - then wreaths were then laid on the memorial.

The service concluded with singing the national anthem and a final blessing: "Go forth into the world in peace..."

It was one of four services of Remembrance held across Newham today, including in East Ham, where a parade was led by the Royal British Legion from the town hall to a ceremony at the cenotaph in Central Park.

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