Monday, August 04, 2014

4 August 2014 - 100th anniversary of the start of World War One

This morning at 11am I went to the Cenotaph at East Ham Central Park for a Newham Council ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War One.

A British Legion representative laid the first wreath followed by the Mayor and representatives of the former boroughs of East and West Ham.

One lovely spontaneous touch was as the wreaths were being laid, a passerby stopped and started singing a beautiful lament to the fallen "Sleep on Beloved, Sleep on and take your rest".

My Grandfather, Frederick John Matthews MC, Royal Naval Division, fought in the First World War. On 5 August 1914 he was still an apprentice "mechanical engineer and draughtsman" in a South Wales Steel works. He left to join up on 2 September 1914 and returned to work (briefly) in January 1919.

I hope in the coming years to follow in his footsteps a hundred year later, starting off next  year at Gallipoli in Turkey then the trench battles of France and Belgium.

hat tip picture Cllr Ayesha Chowdhury,
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