WW1 Heroes Honoured at Centenary Ceremony

Including unveiling of poppy garden and plaque in Furnivall Gardens

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Local men and women who served the country during World War One have been honoured at a special ceremony to mark 100 years since the start of the Great War.

The First World War centenary event, which took place on Saturday September 20 at Hammersmith Town Hall, also featured the unveiling of a poppy garden and plaque by Cllr Mercy Umeh, Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham, in nearby Furnivall Gardens.

Organised by Fulham resident Ray Champion, the day-long event included talks about World War One and the local people who helped the war effort, musical performances from The Royal Yeomanry Band, readings and an opportunity for guests to bring along medals and memorabilia from World War One and share their own stories.

Mr Champion,78, who staged the event with support from Hammersmith and Fulham Federation of Tenants and Residents Associations, H&F Council and many of its contractors, said he wanted to organise the event to enable young people and older residents to come together "to show that we have not – and will never – forget the sacrifices made by so many to protect our liberty".

He said: " My father served during the conflict and – after going through some of his war-time possessions – I thought it would be fitting for the community to publically honour the men and women from H&F who contributed to the war effort."

Guests on the day included members of the Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Associations, local Scout groups, Chelsea Pensioners, The Royal Yeomanry based in Fulham, the borough’s Air, Army and Sea Cadets, residents, Parks Police officers and representatives from the Met Police’s Mounted Division.

During the event, Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, Sandy Cahill, presented Cllr Umeh with six copies of Stepping Forward – a book documenting the record of the Volunteer Reserve Forces from Greater London from 1908 to the present day. One will be kept at the Civic Centre, with the other five going to each of the borough’s libraries.

Cllr Alan De’Ath, the borough’s representative for Armed Forces and Cadets, said: " The sacrifice and courage demonstrated by so many during World War One will never be forgotten and occasions such as this give us an opportunity to come together and reflect on their inspirational efforts.

" It is testament to the men and women across the UK who served during the war and laid down their lives in defence of our country that today – 100 years since war broke out – their legacy remains as strong as ever."

The World War One commemoration event was sponsored by the council, Pinnacle, MITIE, Quadron, Amey, Serco and Chelsea Funeral Directors.

September 26, 2014