Saturday, December 2, 2023

Purfleet-on-Thames Remembrance Day and Silhouette Unveiling

ON Sunday 7th November Purfleet-on-Thames will be holding their Remembrance Day Service and this year will be unveiling memorial silhouettes to the 26 soldiers from Purfleet, who gave their lives during First Word War.

In 2018 Purfleet, as it was then known, took part in the national centenary commemorations for the end of Word War I, Battle’s Over.

As part of the event a number of silhouettes were made and exhibited on the communal green. They proved popular and the 26 silhouettes that represented our soldiers were put on display outside the Heritage Centre. In May last year most of the silhouettes were vandalised and destroyed resulting in disbelief and disgust from local residents. This despicable act created a lot of media and press interest. As a result offers of help came in from individuals and companies to replace them.

ACS Stainless Steel Ltd of Leeds, a family run business kindly offered to make and install replacement silhouettes in 8mm carbon steel. Their kind offer was accepted, planning permission obtain and finally after the delays from Covid they will be unveiled on Sunday.

People can meet at Purfleet Heritage & Military Centre, Centurion Way, Purfleet-on-Thames. RM19 1ZZ at 10am. At 10:20 a procession will make its way to the War Memorial at St Stephen’s Church in London Road. If you would like a ride to the memorial, Ensign Bus will have two of their Vintage buses to take you. There will be a service, laying of wreaths followed by the Last Post.

After the service everyone is invited back to the Heritage Centre, where tea and coffee are available.

At midday there will be an unveiling 26 silhouettes. Each one represents a soldier from Purfleet who died during the First World War. They are sited on top of the embankment at the back of the Heritage Centre car park overlooking the river. This impressive and moving four metre display will be a permanent reminder of those soldiers who gave their lives for us.

Any uniformed groups and standard bearers will be welcolme.


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