ONE hundred years from the start of the First World War a huge turn-out is anticipated across the Borough this weekend as Thurrock pays tribute to those who have lost their lives serving their country.
A host of events and ceremonies will take place, starting with the traditional Orsett Service of Remembrance on Saturday and running through to Armistice Day itself, on Tuesday.
Services in the Borough started last weekend with a poignant event at Purfleet’s war memorial, one of many across Thurrock that has been restored by Thurrock Council to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the bloody conflict that claimed the lives of almost 900,000 British servicemen.
Among them were almost 900 from Thurrock, whose names are inscribed at memorials across the region that will be focus of attention over the coming days.
The leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr John Kent, said: “This year, more than ever, and for obvious reasons, our thoughts are with the families of the nearly 900 Thurrock people who died in combat during the First World War.
“The amazing crowds to see the remarkable display of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London also highlights how Remembrance Day and remembering the fallen of that horrific conflict is high in the nation’s conscience at the moment.
“That’s as it should be and I am sure this year will see record numbers attending all of the many Remembrance events in Thurrock this year.
“But equally we should also remember those who have died since.
Not just the Second World War, but in the many conflicts and wars since then.
“And we should also remember those who are left behind.
“The parents who lose a young son or daughter, the sibling, the husbands, wives and partners, and of course the children who have to grow up knowing their father or mother had made that ultimate sacrifice – a sacrifice made on our behalf; a sacrifice made so we can live our lives in comparative safety.”
The services will begin locally with the Thurrock Royal British Legion service at Orsett’s picturesque memorial, starting at 11am.
Then, on Sunday, many services – some large, some small – will take part, with major events in Grays and Stanford-le-Hope including parades of former servicemen, current members of the armed and civil forces, children’s organisations and residents.
Local services include:
Saturday 11am Orsett War Memorial
Sunday 9.15am Bulphan St. Mary the Virgin Church, Church Road, Bulphan.
Sunday 9.30am Turps CornerThurrockWar Memorial, Rectory Road.
Sunday 9.45am Aveley St. Michael’s Church, High Street, Aveley
Sunday 10am South Ockendon, St. Nicholas Church, The Green, South Ockendon
Sunday 10.15am Tilbury Tilbury War Memorial, Town Centre
Sunday 10.45am Stifford Stifford War Memorial, St Mary’s Church, High Road, North Stifford, followed by refreshments served in the church,
Sunday 10.30am Stanford-le-Hope War Memorial, The Green, Stanford-le-Hope.
Sunday 10.45am Horndon-on-the-Hill St. Peter & St. Paul Church, Orsett Road, Horndon-on-the-Hill
Sunday 10.45am East Tilbury, Bata War Memoria, East Tilbury
Sunday 10.45am St Mary’ Church , Corringham
Sunday 10.45am Chadwell St. Mary, St. Mary’s Church, Linford Road
Sunday 10.45am Grays War Memorial High Street
Sunday 3pm Chafford Hundred War Memorial – located on wall in Kershaw Close, Chafford Hundred
Tuesday10.45am Grays War Memorial
Tuesday110.45 Lakeside House of Fraser 2nd Floor
Tuesday 10.55am Stifford Ardale War Memorial, Guardian Avenue, Stifford Green, North Stifford