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Remembrance Day services mark the two-minute silence across Tower Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 15:05 10 November 2013 | UPDATED: 15:05 10 November 2013

Merchant Navy Falklands war memorial in Trinity Square Gardens

Merchant Navy Falklands war memorial in Trinity Square Gardens

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Young and old gathered in Tower Hamlets this morning in their hundreds to remember those who died serving their country in war.

Royal Navy reserve unit of HMS President, based in St Catherine's Way, lead the serviceRoyal Navy reserve unit of HMS President, based in St Catherine's Way, lead the service

Remembrance Day services were held all across the borough, including at St John on Bethnal Green Church, St Anne’s church in Limehouse, and at Cemetary Park’s war memorial near Southern Grove.

The main ceremony took place in Trinity Square Gardens in Tower Hill, over the road from the Tower of London, where the cold weather was paired with glorious sunlight for the occasion.

The crowd fell silent as the bugle was played for the somber ceremony, and everyone bowed their heads to mark the two minute silence.

Wreaths were laid by family members of fallen soldiers and by local dignitaries including Mayor Lutfur Rahman, Jim Fitzpatrick MP and council speaker Cllr Lesley Pavitt.

Augustus Bialick from Whitechapel fought in the Second World War and will mark his 100th birthday in MarchAugustus Bialick from Whitechapel fought in the Second World War and will mark his 100th birthday in March

Mr Fitzpatrick said: “It’s always a lovely service here and at the several others taking place across Tower Hamlets.”

The service was patrolled by Tower Hamlets police cadets aged 14 to 18 who said they were proud to play their part.

Yasir Ali, 18, from Bow, said: “It’s a great experience for us to take part on such an important day and pay our respects to those who served their country.”

Zack Ellis, 18, from Mile End, said: “It’s the least we can do.”

Crowds gather at Tower HillCrowds gather at Tower Hill

One of the many veterans at the service was 99-year-old Augustus Bialick, who was born in Whitechapel in 1914 and took part in the invasion of Sicily in 1943.

Mr Bialick, the son of a Polish Jew who also served in the British army, said: “I’m here to pay my respects to the men from the Merchant Navy who died in such a terrible way.”

Cllr Pavitt added: “We’re often told it’s a ‘young borough’, but there are 25,000 older people in the borough, and many people have relatives who served.

“We have to remember they suffered the burden in order for us to enjoy what we do today.”

Jim Fitzpatrick MP and council speaker Cllr Lesley Pavitt in Trinity Square GardensJim Fitzpatrick MP and council speaker Cllr Lesley Pavitt in Trinity Square Gardens

For pictures of the ceremony as it happened visit our Twitter page @ELAdvertiser


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