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Armistice100: ‘Spine-tingling’ Remembrance service pays tribute to the South Woodford men who died in the First World War

PUBLISHED: 12:19 10 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:19 10 November 2018

The leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Atwal, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith and Redbridge Council Conservative group leader Linda Huggett laid wreaths at South Woodford's Remembrance Service. Photo: Matt Clemenson

The leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Atwal, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith and Redbridge Council Conservative group leader Linda Huggett laid wreaths at South Woodford's Remembrance Service. Photo: Matt Clemenson

Archant

There was a “spine-tingling” reading of the names of 70 South Woodford men who died fighting in the First World War at the town’s Armistice centenary memorial service this morning (Saturday, November 10).

The leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Atwal, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith and Redbridge Council Conservative group leader Linda Huggett laid wreaths at South Woodford's Remembrance Service. Photo: Matt ClemensonThe leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Atwal, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith and Redbridge Council Conservative group leader Linda Huggett laid wreaths at South Woodford's Remembrance Service. Photo: Matt Clemenson

The Mayor of Redbridge, fellow councillors, MPs, police officers and local scout groups laid wreaths at the war memorial outside St Mary’s Church in South Woodford High Road, as a band from the Redbridge Music Service played the Last Post and a selection of hymns.

After two minutes’ silence was impeccably observed, Rev Ian Tarrant then conducted the reading of the names, which are also inscribed upon the war memorial itself.

Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal described the service as “moving and poignant”.

He told the Recorder: “It’s so important that we come together to remember the young Redbridge men who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Atwal, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith and Redbridge Council Conservative group leader Linda Huggett laid wreaths at South Woodford's Remembrance Service. Photo: Matt ClemensonThe leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Atwal, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith and Redbridge Council Conservative group leader Linda Huggett laid wreaths at South Woodford's Remembrance Service. Photo: Matt Clemenson

“To be the leader of the council at this point in history and to be so involved in the centenary is a huge honour.”

And the leader of Redbridge Council’s Conservative group, Cllr Linda Huggett, said the decision to read all 70 names of the young South Woodford men who died fighting in the First World War, created a real sense of gravitas and solemnity around the occasion.

She said: “It was an incredibly emotive morning being out there and laying a wreath.

“The moments’ silence and the whole service was impeccably observed and it is a tremendous honour to come to these Remembrance services this weekend and lay wreaths on behalf of the Redbridge Conservatives.

“As those names were read out you couldn’t help but think about those poor families - especially when you’d hear the names of more than one person from the same family.

“When you think about the Nightingale family, who lost four sons, you realise how important it is they’re honoured properly.”

The recognition of that loss was something that Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, who laid a wreath alongside Chingford and Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith, described as “spine-tingling”.

Speaking to the Recorder immediately after the service, he said: “At the Woodford memorial this morning the reading out of the 70 members of this church who died in the First World War really gave you a sense of the scale of the impact of that conflict locally.

“Some of those families lost two, three or even four people, and it is right that we came together here this morning to remember them.

“It’s special to be involved in every year, but this year, as we celebrate the centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War, it really feels significant to be part of these services.”

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