Hackney Remembers: Commemoration held for First World War centenary
The sacrifices of the servicemen and women of the First World War were remembered in Hackney on the eve of the centenary of the conflict.
Veterans, civic dignitaries, faith leaders, school pupils and cadets were among those who paid moving tribute to those who served and died, during a commemoration ceremony on Sunday in Hackney Town Hall Square.
A day of national remembrance was held on Monday, the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the conflict in which 16million – including 1million Britons and Commonwealth citizens – lost their lives.
Sunday’s service was a very moving ceremony and brought home the terrible sacrifices made by so many both on the frontline and at home. Hackney was proud to host a commemoration service on this milestone year. We must never forget.
The first Zeppelin bomb of the war fell in the garden of the Nevill Arms pub, in Nevill Road, Stoke Newington, on 30 May 1915.
The Representative Deputy Lieutenant to the London Borough of Hackney, Lt Col Roderick Morriss, read Strange Meeting, a poem by Wilfred Owen, as well as an excerpt from biblical passage, Micah 4.
“There is no one alive today who was involved in the First World War,” he said after the ceremony. “However, their children and their children’s children are still with us and therefore their sacrifice and suffering is still pertinent in a personal context.
“I would be very surprised if there is a single child, from wherever in the world, who does not have a great grandparent whose life was touched by those four years.
“There is a shared history in communities in Hackney, Britain and its links to the Commonwealth. The war had a considerable impact on the lives of everyone.”
A centenary exhibition, Writing Home - Letters to Hackney during the First World War, is currently showing at the Council-run Hackney Museum.
It features correspondences written by two young soldiers who fought on the frontline to families and sweethearts at home in Hackney.
Also, Hackney Archives, in Dalston CLR James Library, Dalston Square, is showing Hackney Remembers WW1, a display that explores how the war changed the lives of local people.
Both exhibitions are free and run until 30 August.