First World War: Police rally to remember officers from across east London who died in war

08:10 04 August 2014

Police officers at the Barking Abbey service (pictures: Steve Poston)

Police officers at the Barking Abbey service (pictures: Steve Poston)


Police officers are today set to rally together to remember their predecessors who lost their lives in the First World War.

A bugler plays the Last Post at the serviceA bugler plays the Last Post at the service

Several months of work have come together in two events dubbed Operation Valour to ensure those who gave their lives would never be forgotten.

K Division, which covered what are now the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets, saw 285 of its officers enlist in the armed forces during the First World War.

Their bravery has been recognised a century later with a memorial service and commemorative stone remembering the 23 officers who lost their lives.

Newham Borough Commander Tony Nash is helping coordinate Operation Valour.

Sandringham School pupils with poppiesSandringham School pupils with poppies

He said: “Before I arrived, Pc Ricky Coleridge was aware of the officers from K Division and wanted to do something to remember them.

“It’s taken six or seven months of work and we’ve raised almost £3,000 through things like charity football matches.

“It’s all been funded through money we’ve raised – not from the police budget.”

The first memorial service on Monday, July 28, took place at St Margaret’s Church, next to Barking Abbey, and was attended by councillors, community leaders and borough commanders from all four boroughs.

Redbridge borough commander Sue Williams at the ceremonyRedbridge borough commander Sue Williams at the ceremony

Chelsea pensioners were invited to attend the military service alongside children from Sandringham Primary School in Forest Gate, who read out the names of the 23 fallen officers.

Of those, 22 were killed in action or died from their wounds during the First World War.

An additional officer, Pc Edward George Greenoff, has been added to the list. He was killed on duty when an explosion occured at the munitions factory in Silvertown in 1917.

Their names have been inscribed on a memorial stone that has been set in the ground at Forest Gate police station, alongside a crest from a former K Division station and caskets of earth from the battlefields of Passchendaele and the Somme.

Sandringham School pupils singing hymnsSandringham School pupils singing hymns

The two caskets were blessed at the memorial service and will be interred today.

Ch Supt Nash said: “Some of the officers went over to the battlefields in their own time to collect the soil.

“The memorial service was held on the anniversary of the start of the war, and the stone unveiling will be on the anniversary of Britain entering the war.”

A handmade Book of Remembrance listing the police and military details of the 23 fallen K Division officers will go on public display at Forest Gate police station.

Read more:

First World War centenary: Story of Dagenham pierrot who entertained troops

Barking war memorial undergoes £6,000 refurbishment for First World War centenary


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Ilford News Stories

53 minutes ago
Waltham Road in Woodford Green (credit:Google)

A man in his 50s was rushed to hospital after two men allegedly threw an “unknown substance” in his face in Woodford Green.

Farouk Ismail, FORMO's chief executive

British Muslim faith leaders are set to create their own anti-radicalisation scheme, in light of concerns about the government’s own initiative.

Yesterday, 17:42
GVs of Ilford Town Centre. The Exchange

The Crossrail project has sparked a flurry of investment from major brands in the borough’s largest retail hub.

Yesterday, 16:27
Wanstead High Street

The unveiling of a new cafe in Wanstead has been met with anger by residents, who claim the High Street is already full to the brim with coffee shops.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists


£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now