IslingtonTribune

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Hundreds gather to pay their respects to the fallen

Following a Covid-induced hiatus, crowds descend on the borough on Remembrance Sunday

19 November, 2021 — By Charlotte Chambers

People of all ages gathered on Sunday. Photo: Robert Burbidge

“WHEN you go home tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow we gave our today.”

Those were the words spoken by pageantmaster Peter McCafferty to mark the end of the two-minute silence on Remembrance Sunday, as more than 500 people gathered across the borough to pay their respects to fallen soldiers and their families.

Firefighters, police, the armed forces, Scouts, Brownies, cadets and local churches were just some of those present to mark their gratitude as the parade, which started at Highbury and stopped at Islington Green, saw MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Emily Thornberry among others lay wreaths and make speeches.

Jeremy Corbyn lays a wreath. Photo: Robert Burbidge

Padre Nigel Williams, the military vicar for the Islington Veterans’ Association, also spoke, along with Islington’s mayor, Troy Gallagher, and the junior mayor, Rosie Kurnaz.

Smaller services were also held at Islington Spa Green and Manor Gardens.

Mr McCafferty, Sunday’s events organiser and a member of Islington’s Veterans’ Association who served in the RAF, recounted the famous words inscribed on the monument to the fallen in Kohima, India, before going on: “We are full of gratitude and admiration for the ultimate sacrifice shown by so many in such awful conditions to secure the many years of ‘tomorrows’ we have known of freedom and peace.”

Children from The Gower School in front of the War Memorial at Islington Green

Martin Kirk, chairman of the Veterans’ Association, reflected on how good it was to have the public back after the pandemic kept the remembrance service a closed affair last year.

Mr Kirk, who also served in the RAF and saw active service in Iraq in 1990, flying out to fight in the Gulf on his 21st birthday, added: “It’s good to feel it’s not forgotten about and that people do have enthusiasm to show their respect. Though soldiers are not there to kill people, and we’re not warmongers, some people have that image of us.

MP Emily Thornberry pays her respects. Photo: Robert Burbidge

“It’s important to remember we’re here to protect the realm and England. It was good to be there and celebrate it.”

Meanwhile, The Gower School near Caledonian Road has raised £315 in aid of the Poppy Appeal.

Children sewed poppies from felt and black buttons to be sold in support of the charity. Each morning, the pupils stood outside the school gates to sell their handmade creations.

They also sewed poppies for the school wreath which was presented (above) by head boy Maxi Faulkner, 11, and head girl Alexa Fair­brother, 10, at service of remembrance at Islington Green War Memorial on Sunday.

If you would like to make a donation direct to the Poppy Appeal, you can do so at: www.rbl.org.uk/poppyappeal

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