Remembrance Sunday was much quieter this year in terms of numbers showing their respect in public, but the respect shown was as poignant as ever.
1. Elm Park RBL had a closed ceremony inside the gates by the war memorial. It is not a big space and Track and Trace was in operation.
2. Music played was very similar to that at the Cenotaph. Gary Driscoll of the Royal Green Jackets put the music together and it was greatly appreciated by all. A Military band played up until to the two minutes’ silence. Our usual Parade Marshals Gary and Trevor (ex-London Fire Brigade) were in attendance.
3. Wreath laying took place, then Rule Britannia, Heart of Oak, Men of Harlech, the Sky Boat Song,…. Nimrod and then the Westminster Chimes (Firing of Cannon), the Last Post, Reveille.
4. Wreaths were laid by: Cllr Barry Mugglestone Chair of RBL Elm Park, Col Mark Bryant, MBE DL, Gary Driscoll Royal Green Jackets, Trevor McKeever, Jim Smith, Brendon Reynolds, Cllr Stephanie Nunn on behalf of Hornchurch Residents’ Association.
5. The Standard Bearer was in attendance and members of the Poppy Fund Raising Team.
6. A much reduced group of people was outside the gates of the RBL and the Chairman thanked everyone for showing their respects at the end of the ceremony. We were pleased to see our neighbourhood police officers and social distancing was observed.
7. As there was no Parade, people made their way down to St Nicholas Church where at 11.30 am a short open air service was Conducted by Rev Amanda and Father Tom Keighley, the Vice Presidents of Elm Park Royal British Legion. We were allowed To sing one hymn – O God our Help in Ages Past and one verse of the National Anthem.
8. The exhortation is traditionally read by an older and a younger person. They were Cllr Barry Mugglestone and Crystal Hayward (age 11)
It cannot be denied that people were very disappointed that the annual parade could not go ahead, but the important thing is to show respect in whatever way is possible. The people of Elm Park came together in a more subdued, but just as sincere ceremony to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and those who are in the service of their country still today.
We could not have the usual fund raising afternoon in the club, last year we raised approximately £2,000 but we are hopeful of raising £1,500 from the Wall of Remembrance. In our hearts we all hope that next year we will be back to normal. We will remember them.
Thank you to all who made a contribution to the ceremony and to the Poppy Appeal 2020