Remembrance Day 2019: Fairlop remembers those from the US who gave their lives in Redbridge
PUBLISHED: 14:51 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:57 12 November 2019
Dozens of schoolchildren and former servicemembers gathered at Fairlop Waters Country Park this morning (Monday, November 11) to remember the fallen heroes in Ilford and from further abroad who sacrificed their lives.
Sixty Year 6 pupils from John Bramston Primary School each held up the name of servicemembers from around the world who died in the area for the 11th Remembrance ceremony at Fairlop Waters.
Service member Brian Morgan, of Barkingside, who served in the Essex Regiment and spent two years in Korea after the war, remembered being evacuated from his home a mile away from Fairlop Waters when he was just four years old in 1939.
He told the Recorder: "It's so nice to see so many children here because I was around their age when the war started."
Each year the Fairlop Heritage Group honours a different country that lost service members in the area and this year the focus was on America.
Special guest Ellie Rudolph from Norwalk, Connecticut told the heroic story of Flying Officer Raimund Sanders Draper, from New York, whose nickname was Smudge, 64 Squadron.
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Officer Draper lost control of his plane near the Sutton school in Hornchurch and deliberately crashed his Spitfire aircraft into a field and took his own life to avoid hitting the school.
At the time the school had over 600 children in it but none of them were hurt and the school was renamed in his honour in 1973.
David Martin, chairman of the Fairlop Heritage Group, led the ceremony and read the names of the American service members who gave their lives.
Deputy Lt. Thomas Chan spoke of the Battle of Kohima in East India where thousands of British and Indian soldiers died.
Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal laid a wreath and spoke of his grandfather who fought in Kohima.
He stressed the importance of remembering our veterans particularly as the years pass and we lose more and more of them.
He told the schoolchildren: "It falls on us, on you, the next generation to pass on the stories and the legacy of our predecessors."
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