Remembrance Day 2019: Newham honours its brave in East Ham ceremony
PUBLISHED: 15:01 10 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:01 10 November 2019
Newham has paid its respects to those who sacrificed their lives in conflict with a traditional wreath laying service.
The Royal British Legion led a parade from the town hall to Central Park, East Ham, before rings of poppies and messages of remembrance were placed in front of The Cenotaph.
Rev Fred Ashford-Okai, who led the ceremony, said: "We are here to remember those who lived in Newham who lost their lives in battles on land, on sea, in the air and on the Home Front.
"In 2019, we know far too well that many parts of God's world still continue to be torn apart by war. We should pray for God's true peace."
About 300 service personnel, veterans, army, sea, air and police cadets, political figures and members of the public commemorated those who sacrificed their lives in battle, forming a circle around The Cenotaph.
Standard bearers lowered their flags as The Last Post bugle call echoed across the park. A reading of the Exhortation, "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old", followed, ending with the crowd vowing, "We will remember them".
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People then bowed their heads under a clear blue sky to observe two-minutes' silence with a 25-pounder field gun fired to signal its start and end.
Bob Spencer, chairman of the East Ham and District Branch of the Royal British Legion, then read the Kohim Prayer: "When you go home, tell them of us and say / For their tomorrow, we gave our today".
Representatives of the armed forces, emergency services, St John's Ambulance, the Royal British Legion, veterans' families were among those laying wreaths alongside Newham's mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz.
The singing of hymn, Abide with Me, followed a poem read by Helen Matthew from East Ham's Royal British Legion which included the line, "We have a duty to honour the brave".
Rev Susan Lukas, rector of the Holy Trinity Parish, East Ham, led prayers before Rev Ashford-Okai repeated The Commitment and Benediction.
He said: "Remember those who died the death of honour. Especially the officers, men and women of our sea, land and air forces, who lay down their lives for freedom and justice."
The crowd ended by applauding Newham's young people and singing The National Anthem.
Ken Hills, secretary of East Ham's Royal British Legion branch, said afterwards: "This means everything."