Remembrance Day: Tower Hamlets remember war dead with poignant service

Wreath layers at the Remembrance Day memorial service inTrinity Square Gardens

Wreath layers at the Remembrance Day memorial service inTrinity Square Gardens - Credit: Archant

Only the sound of bugles was heard piercing through silence this morning as hundreds of onlookers bowed their heads to remember the fallen at Trinity Square Gardens.

A two-minute silence at the Remembrance Day service in Tower Hill took on added significance in the centenary year of the start of the First World War - as well as coming 70 years after D-Day and weeks after British troops ended combat in Afghanistan.

Moving renditions of the maritime hymn and national anthem rang out beneath the blue November sky after Rev Reginald Sweet began his service with the words: “They gave their lives so we could live in freedom.”

Representatives from charities, trade unions and shipping organisations were among those laying wreaths at the Merchant Navy War Memorial, opposite the ceramic poppy installation at the Tower of London.

Captain Sam Judah MBE of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners laid a wreath by the First World War memorial and called the service “particularly poignant” because of the 100 year anniversary.

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London Assembly member John Biggs attended the service which celebrates the merchant and navy war dead and said: “The east end has experienced great suffering and local people have lost family members all over the world.

“The borough has a proud sea-faring tradition, so coming to this memorial is particularly appropriate,”

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Leader of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Mike Cash also attended, alongside Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick.

Mr Fitzpatrick said: “It’s a very special Remembrance Sunday today because it’s the centenary of the First World War.

“I’ll be reminiscing specifically about the fire fighters who died in the Second World War, 330 were killed in the blitz.”

Read more: War vet Ben runs for Poppy Appeal and is told by Prince Harry to buy his own beer

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