Armistice 100: Town Hall ceremony marks anniversary of end of First World War
- Credit: Alex Shaw
Navy veterans, cadets and councillors fell silent for two minutes at Tower Hamlets Town Hall today (Friday) to commemorate a century since the end of the First World War.
Labour mayor John Biggs laid poppy wreaths at the ceremony in Mulberry Place, alongside Conservative councillor Peter Golds and former sailors on HMS Crane, the former warship whose bell serves as a memorial in the building’s entrance foyer.
In opening remarks, Mr Biggs called the bell an “important symbol” for the borough, “servicemen and women”, and “our local community and the way in which suffered and served in the conflicts of the last century and beyond”.
Ringing the bell at 11am, to mark the First World War ending that hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, former crewman John Hall said: “This was the armistice which enabled the peace treaty to be negotiated and bring an end to the Great War, or the First World War.”
“We remember the fallen — not only in both World Wars, but subsequent armed conflicts.”
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Among those invited to lay tributes were pupils from Mayflower Primary School.
The children represented the successor to the Upper North Street site bombed in one of the capital’s first air raids, killing 18 pupils.
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The blast in 1917, remembered on its 100th anniversary last year with a visit from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, hardened local opinion against Germany, whipping up fervour for the war effort.
A century on, pupils have taken part in two weeks of lessons themed around peace.
“We’ve come to pay our respects,” said deputy headteacher Adam Stock, who described the school as “privileged” to take part.
Pupils, he added, had worked hard to make displays around their building including a patchwork quilt and doves made from milk cartons.
One of them, nine-year-old Abeda Mohoumad, shared part of a poem she had written for the occasion.
“I dream of a world of peace, where people can live a life of ease,” she recited.
“And where there’s no sight of selfishness, and there’s no difference between rich and poor, and life is pleasant for living evermore.”