Redbridge pays tribute to Canada’s war dead

THE CANADIAN flag fluttered in the wind as the country’s national anthem played out in a quiet Barkingside beauty spot, in honour of the nation’s war dead.

Then stepped forward Canadian Forces exchange officer Major Barry Devereux.

“It would be easy to forget what has happened here,” he told those gathered, as Fairlop Waters Country Park, off Forest Road, prepared to be shrouded in silence.

The service at the country park acted as a reminder of the plain’s role in both World War One and World Ware Two.

Four Canadians who fought at Fairlop died in battle and the service was dedicated to their memory and the price their country paid for freedom.

Over the next 12 years, the 12 others countries whose men and women served at Fairlop will be remembered

Major Devereux said: “Aviation was particularly dangerous.

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“Not just in flying but also in training where many risked their lives.”

He added: “We should not underestimate the bravery and the courage of those who took to these very skies.

“It is a great honour that Canadians are being remembered today and it’s a privilege to be here.”

Pavel Becak, of the defence attache of the Czech Republic, was also at Fairlop Waters to pay his respects to the seventeen killed men who flew out of its RAF station during World War Two and the seven men who died during World War One when the plain was a training field.

Others at Thursday’s Armistice Day service included Ilford North MP Lee Scott and Ilford South MP Mike Gapes, who both gave readings.

Speaking of those who served during both ward, Alan Harris, president of event organisers Fairlop Heritage Group, said: “Without their actions we would not be standing here today.”

Harold Bennett, 89, also paid a special visit to Fairlop Waters having been the first to fly operationally from the plain on November 17, 1941.