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Armistice Day: Poignant Fairlop service sees MPs and schoolchildren commemorate ancestors

PUBLISHED: 13:18 11 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:14 11 November 2016

Cllr Debbie Kaur-Thiara, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, Cllr Helen Coomb and Ilford South MP Mike Gapes at the annual Fairlop Waters Armistice Day service. Picture: Ron Jeffries

Cllr Debbie Kaur-Thiara, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, Cllr Helen Coomb and Ilford South MP Mike Gapes at the annual Fairlop Waters Armistice Day service. Picture: Ron Jeffries

Archant

On a beautifully clear morning, overlooking the tranquil scene of Fairlop Waters, the young generation came together to pay their respects to their forebears.

Children from John Bramston Primary School gathered with MPs, Fairlop Heritage Group members and residents this morning to commemorate Armistice Day, marking the moment 98 years ago that the guns finally fell silent on the Western Front.

The service, at Fairlop Waters Country Park, Forest Road, Barkingside, began at 10.45am, with the traditional two minutes’ silence following at 11am.

The ceremony, organised by Fairlop Heritage Group, each year honours pilots of different nationalities who served at Fairlop aerodrome, with this year’s commemoration for Norwegian and British-Argentine men who fought during the Second World War.

Ilford’s MPs, Wes Streeting and Mike Gapes, were among those to lay wreaths at the memorial.

Fairlop Heritage Group chairman David Martin with pupils from John Bramston Primary School at the annual Fairlop Waters Armistice Day service. Picture: Ron JeffriesFairlop Heritage Group chairman David Martin with pupils from John Bramston Primary School at the annual Fairlop Waters Armistice Day service. Picture: Ron Jeffries

Mr Gapes, who represents Ilford South, told the Recorder: It’s so important we have services like this one here at Fairlop, because it localises it, but as we’ve seen today, people from all over the world fought here and it’s important their chapter of history isn’t forgotten.

“This isn’t just about the First World War, although a lot has been made of that conflict this year, this is about all the men and women who have given their lives in service of this country.”

Michaela Pile and Sopna Soosaibenadict, both pupils at John Bramston Primary, Newcastle Avenue, Hainault, touched the crowds with poignant poems on what remembrance means to them.

Their words were followed by prayers led by Rev Kate Lovesey, of St Peter’s Church, Aldborough Hatch, and addresses from Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Gurdial Bhamra and Dr Judith Cherni, chairman of the Anglo Argentine Society.

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting told the Recorder: “It was a wonderful service and the weather held out.

“What’s so great to see here is that they get children from the local schools involved so they can learn a bit more about what it means.

“What I liked about this service as well is how it focuses on the other countries that fought for us as well.”

This year’s Poppy Appeal theme is “Rethinking Remembrance”, which the Royal British Legion hopes will encourage people to consider the younger generation of veterans, and support them in any way they can.

For information on Redbridge’s Remembrance Sunday services, see the link below.


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