Remembrance Day: Sun shines on Ilford War Memorial service
- Credit: Archant
Young and old gathered at Ilford War Memorial today for a moving Remembrance Day service.
As the sun shone on a cold, crisp Sunday morning, veterans marched into the memorial on Eastern Avenue, Newbury Park, at around 11am, joined by current members of the Armed Forces, cadets and local scout groups.
The large crowd was greeted by Ilford Royal British Legion (RBL) chaplain Rev Jonathan Evans, before silence ensued as members of Redbridge Music School’s Symphonic Band played The Last Post.
The mayor of Redbridge, Cllr Felicity Banks placed the first wreath at the cenotaph, followed by the RBL, The Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen (AJEX) and Women and Armed Service personnel.
Standard bearers of AJEX, Leslie Sutton, 89, and Cyril Vancliff, 86, both of Gants Hill, said they were very proud.
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Mr Sutton, who served in the RAF from 1942-46 and was involved in the Omaha Beach invasion, said: “It’s important not to forget what happened although it was so long ago. Winston Churchill once said ‘anything forgotten can be repeated’ and I think that’s very true.”
Mr Vancliff, who served in the RAF from 1945-48, said: “There is a very good turnout this year, it makes you appreciate that people haven’t forgotten about all the people who lost their lives.”
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Among the uniformed youth organisations represented were 1st Hainault Scout Group, who brought over 40 cubs, scouts, beavers and explorers to the service.
Cub leader Anthony White said attending the service was a very positive experience for the children.
“We teach them the importance of learning about the First World War and Remembrance Day, and just last night we had marching practice. The children understand the meaning behind it all,” said Mr White.
Proud parent and ex-Armed Forces member Trudy Stone watched as her 13-year-old son Oliver marched in the parade with his fellow 36 Cadet Company colleagues from Ilford.
Oliver, who hopes for a future in the army, said: “This is my second year at the service and I think it’s a very good thing to do for Remembrance Day.”
Redbridge council leader, Cllr Keith Prince, also laid a wreath, and acknowledged the improved crowd from last year.
“It was a very moving service and it is so good to see people of different religions here too.”
There was also a service today at Wanstead War Memorial, High Street, Wanstead, which started at 12.30pm.