Thamesmead residents including children from Jubilee Primary School joined representatives from the Peabody Group, both the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Bexley, Erith & Thamesmead MP, Teresa Pearce and Thamesmead and Abbey Wood Royal British Legion at the unveiling of Thamesmead’s first ever publically accessible war memorial.
The poignant remembrance was also marked with a two minute silence, the Last Post and the laying of wreaths.
Stephen Howlett, Chief Executive of Peabody said: “It is an honour to be involved in the unveiling of these plaques, remembering the men and women who have fought for our country. Today is made even more poignant by representatives from Peabody, the London Borough of Bexley and the Royal Borough of Greenwich coming together at this historic event in Thamesmead to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.”
Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor Mick Hayes said: “It’s very important that we take the time to reflect and remember all those who fought and died or were injured in the causes of peace and freedom, as well as to recall the sacrifices made by civilians on the home-front during wartime.
“2014 marks the centenary since the start of the First World War, one the costliest conflicts in history. 100 years on – Remembrance is as important as ever.”
Mayor of the London Borough of Bexley, Councillor Howard Marriner said: “One hundred years after the start of the First World War we come together to remember those who gave their today’s for our tomorrows. Thamesmead played an important role and I am honoured to be here to remember those who worked hard and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Thamesmead resident, Hazel Ozturk said: “I have lived in Thamesmead for 20 years; it is a wonderful place. I feel like things are really changing now Peabody is here, these plaques being installed are a milestone and long overdue. It is fantastic residents now have a focal point to gather and reflect, bringing a real sense of community.”
This is the first publically accessible war memorial available to Thamesmead residents which we hope will gain momentum over the years. The original Thamesmead memorial is set within the tranquil community garden on The Atrium estate where it was erected as a place residents could visit and reflect.
Students from Jubilee Primary School also attended the event which they followed with this write-up:
When we arrived at the clock tower, we were introduced to the Mayor of Bexley and the Mayor of Greenwich. There were also soldiers there whose ancestors had died in the war! It was a privilege to see the medals they wore and to speak to them about their relatives who were in the ‘Great War’.
At exactly 12:00pm we took our seats and took part in a two minute silence to remember the war heroes that died for us. Before the silence began, a gentleman played the last post on his trumpet to signal the start. We understand how important it is for us to show respect to the soldiers who gave their lives for us in the war and remember what they did for us. Our world would not be the same if they had not fought.
During the ceremony, we were given the privilege of laying wreaths at the foot of the clock tower and we felt incredibly honoured to be able to lay down the poppies and remember the soldiers. They also unveiled a new plaque in honour of WW1.
Selasi Foli, 11, said: ‘The Remembrance Service meant I could take part in remembering our heroes who fought in the war.’
Lainey Olley, 11, said: ‘I agree with the Thamesmead residents and the Mayors who attended, it was a very special moment.’
Written by: Fredrick Aikon, Dami Adedoyin-Adeniyi, Eyshe Ali, Katy Do, Selasi Foli and Lainey Olley.