Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remembrance Sunday: West Ham All Saints 2011

This morning I went to the Remembrance Sunday Service at the West Ham Parish Church of All Saints.  This is one of four "official" Remembrance events taking place today in Newham.  The Revd Stennett Kirby took the service. It was as usual a touching and moving occasion.

This year Captain Ben Firth from our local West Ham Territorial Army Unit, 7th Rifles, spoke in full dress uniform from the pulpit.

Ben talked eloquently about his experiences in combat in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.  In 2006 he went out aged 25 as an infantry platoon commander responsible for 30 men on a 6 month tour.  Ben also spoke about the hardship and intensity of combat, of 9 hour long gun battles with the enemy, of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and the inevitable resulting casualties.

But he also talked about holding regular tribal meetings with local leaders, establishing trust, providing them with a generator to bring electricity and giving toys to local children. He said it is the winning of these battles of hearts and minds that actually makes serving our country so worth while.


Anonymous said...


need to record names on the web

especially WW1

cross ref with Commonwealth Graves

John Gray said...

Hi anon

Not sure what you mean? There are so, so, many local names of those who were killed in WW1 on the wall plaques in the church.

In fact it is completely shocking how many. I have never seen so many at any other British parish church or memorial.