Remembrance Day: Ilford’s fitting tribute to lives lost in the tragedies of war

The Ilford service of Remembrance at the Ilford War Memorial.

The Ilford service of Remembrance at the Ilford War Memorial. - Credit: Archant

People of all faiths and backgrounds gathered on Sunday morning to remember the soldiers, sailors and pilots who gave their lives fighting for Britain in the world wars, and modern conflicts.

Dignitaries, community leaders, councillors, MPs and members of the public congregated at Ilford War Memorial, Eastern Avenue, Newbury Park, to provide a fitting tribute to fallen servicemen and women.

The event has only grown over the years, with the younger generation represented through the involvement of school pupils, cadets and youth groups.

Beal High School’s head boy Tamer Ahamed, who laid a wreath with head girl Suad Tahir, said: “It was a privilege to honour the soldiers and former Beal students for the sacrifice they made.”

Natasha Morgan, 14, a cadet from 4F Ilford Squadron, Horns Road, Newbury Park, added: “I find it very important to remember those who died serving our country because if not for their courageous work, we might have been living in a very different world today.”

A touching tribute saw young Cub Scouts sprinkle poppies at the foot of the bronze statue of a soldier.

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal, Liberal Democrats group leader Cllr Ian Bond and Conservative group leader Cllr Paul Canal put aside political differences to lay wreaths.

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The event was also attended by researcher Frances Speakman, who is on a quest to discover the history behind each name carved in the memorial.

“I started 25 years ago,” she said.

“It is important because all these people gave their lives so the people round here could be free.”

Cllr Athwal added: “I’m really pleased that the people who gave their lives, those brave soldiers, are not forgotten.”

Fiona O’Connor, of Vision Redbridge, Culture and Leisure, who helped organise the event, said she was proud of the multifaith turn-out.

The service closed with a march past by the borough’s air and army cadets.