Search

Remembrance Sunday: Newham honours the fallen and praises the peacemakers

PUBLISHED: 13:23 13 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:27 13 November 2016

Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales watches as cadets march by

Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales watches as cadets march by

Archant

Shots from a field gun, prayers and a brass band accompanied marchers and mourners as the borough paid tribute this morning to those who gave their lives for Britain.

The East Ham Air CadetsThe East Ham Air Cadets

Air, sea and army cadets led a procession from Newham Town Hall to Central Park along East Ham’s High Street South at 10.30am, with families and dignitaries walking by their side.

Rev Fred Ashford-Okai, chaplain to the East Ham and District branch of the Royal British Legion, then led a service at the park’s cenotaph.

“Newham joins our country, the Commonwealth and the free world to celebrate today our Remembrance Sunday,” he said.

Stressing that the gathering was not to celebrate war itself – which he said represents the “ugly side of our human experience” – Rev Ashford-Okai praised those who fight for peace.

Deputy Lieutenant John BarberDeputy Lieutenant John Barber

“We believe in the positive side and the beautiful side of our nature,” he said.

A two-minute’s silence was observed at 11am, begun and ended by thunderous shots from an artillery gun.

Mayor Sir Robin Wales, who laid a wreath at the cenotaph to honour the dead, said the service was “really impressive”.

“It gets much bigger every year,” he said. “And the kids’ organisations keep growing rapidly.”

Cadets prepare to march to Central Park in East HamCadets prepare to march to Central Park in East Ham

Though Sir Robin was not remembering anyone from within his own family, he thanked the men and women who often undergo “harrowing” experiences for their country.

“The courage they show doing things we ask them to is something else,” he said. “It’s a privilege to be here.”

Deputy Lieutenant of Newham John Barber, meanwhile, said it was crucial to remember the fallen.

“So many give up their lives,” the Queen’s representative in the borough said. “Life becomes cheap if you don’t remember the people who have died.”

He added: “Now we don’t blink when 300 people are killed by a bomb – it might be something to do with Isil [also known as Islamic State], but it’s still a war.”

Cadets from the Royal Air Force 282 East Ham Squadron – whose band were at the very front of the procession from Newham Town Hall – were just one organisation representing the borough’s young.

Flt Lt Chris Booty, who led the cadets, said their enthusiasm was “on show for anyone to see”.

“It’s important the young people are involved because they are going to have to continue the tradition in the future,” he said.

“They have to make sure the likes of the First World War never happen again.”

Related articles

Latest Newham Stories

Yesterday, 15:30

The club will look to maintain their long tradition of competing in the first round proper by winning at Maidstone on Saturday

Justin Edinburgh
Yesterday, 14:30

Lakeside Hammers are gearing up for a massive weekend as their drama-filled season comes to a spectacular conclusion.

Richard Lawson
Yesterday, 13:42

At least two homeless people have died at the Stratford Centre this year, and eight across Newham - but no records exist of their deaths. Here, we tell their stories.

Newham Council
Yesterday, 13:03

A man has been arrested after falling from the top floor of Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford.

Yesterday, 11:58

Unwanted furniture, fridges and other large household rubbish items could soon be collected for free if drastic plans to help stop fly-tipping in Newham are approved.

Yesterday, 11:30

FA Youth Cup third qualifying round: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2 Leyton Orient 3

Justin Edinburgh
Yesterday, 10:09

Four family members have been charged with modern slavery offences following dawn raids across east London.

Forest Gate
Yesterday, 09:59

The vice-chairman of West Ham has said she “refuses” to take criticism over the rent the club pays on the London Stadium.

Sadiq Khan

PROMOTED CONTENT

Hanson Fernandes’ journey began in 2015 when he arrived in London from Goa, India.

Newsletter Sign Up

Newham Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now