Gallery: Wanstead Rugby Club commemorates former teammates killed in war

Cllr Paul Canal planting a tree in Wanstead Rugby Club's "Avenue of Remembrance"

Cllr Paul Canal planting a tree in Wanstead Rugby Club's "Avenue of Remembrance" - Credit: Archant

Sportsmen have paid tribute to former members of their team who were killed in warfare.

Cllr Paul Canal planting a tree in Wanstead Rugby Club's "Avenue of Remembrance"

Cllr Paul Canal planting a tree in Wanstead Rugby Club's "Avenue of Remembrance" - Credit: Archant

Wanstead Rugby Club unveiled an “Avenue of Remembrance” on Sunday, to remember 33 players who died in the World Wars and the conflict in Afghanistan.

The idea was formed after members rediscovered a fixture list from the 1919/20 season, which included a list of players killed in the Great War.

The poignant event was attended by 150 people, including Royal British Legion members.

Alasdair Fisher, vice-president of the rugby club, said: “We thought it was time for a proper commemoration of all of them.

Cllr Paul Canal planting a tree in Wanstead Rugby Club's "Avenue of Remembrance"

Cllr Paul Canal planting a tree in Wanstead Rugby Club's "Avenue of Remembrance" - Credit: Archant

“I have great respect for everyone who has fought for this country and it was a very moving event.”

The avenue consists of 30 trees, which have been planted alongside the car park, in Roding Lane North, Woodford Green.

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A memorial stone was also unveiled, which remembers 22 players who died during the First World War, 12 killed in the Second World War and Royal Marine Tom Curry, 21, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007.

Tom’s father Martin, the rugby club’s president, gave a speech.

Cllr Paul Canal planting a tree in Wanstead Rugby Club's "Avenue of Remembrance"

Cllr Paul Canal planting a tree in Wanstead Rugby Club's "Avenue of Remembrance" - Credit: Archant

The memorial was made possible through £500 from the NatWest RugbyForce scheme.

The club is appealing for members of the public to get in touch if they are relatives of any of the men.

The names include Lt Eric Carpenter, who was killed aged just 18 in the First World War, and pilot Arthur Barge, who died in the Second World War aged 27.

Contact reporter Beth Wyatt by calling 020 8477 3988 or emailing bethany.wyatt@archant.co.uk.