Newham remembers war dead with special services

Rev Stennet Kirby conducted the service of remembrance attended by West Ham MP Lyn Brown

Rev Stennet Kirby conducted the service of remembrance attended by West Ham MP Lyn Brown - Credit: Archant

Veterans joined cadets, local councillors and members of the public as they assembled at East Ham Town Hall this morning before marching to Central Park.

Onlookers lined High Street South, which was closed to traffic, as a band from the Air Training Corps led the parade, followed by representatives of the sea scouts, the army cadets, the fire brigade, the volunteer police cadets as well as the members of the Royal British Legion. They were joined by members of the public.

Once in the park, the parade made its way to the Cenotaph, surrounding the war memorial which formed the centre of a service led by Rev Fred Ashford-Okai, chaplain to the RBL.

As the colourful uniforms and military Standards contrasted vividly with the autumn colours of the park, notes of The Last Post cut through the bright sky and was followed by the firing of the field gun to mark the start and the end of the two-minute silence.

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales laid the first wreath and was followed by other dignitaries and representatives from the emergency services. Helen Matthews read a touching poem and the crowd sang the hymn, Abide With Me. The national anthem brought the service to a close as drummers from the Air Training Corps led the parade back to the town hall for a reception.

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An elderly woman who watched the proceedings from a park bench said she attended every year to honour members of her family who had died in the two World Wars.

Ken Hill, from the Royal British Legion’s East Ham branch, said: “This is the biggest parade we have ever had. I think it is because there are a lot more youngsters joining the cadets and we are including them in the parade.

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“It also helps that this year the roads were completely shut for the parade.”

Remembrance Day services were also held at All Saints West Ham Parish Church in Stratford. West Ham MP Lyn Brown attended the service which was led by Rev Stennet Kirby. St Luke’s church in Tarling Road, Canning Town also held a service of remembrance.

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