Remembrance Day is on 11 November. It is a special day set aside to remember all those men and women who were killed during the two World Wars and other conflicts.
But is Remembrance Day relevant to us now?
I have been to numerous Remembrance Parades as a child, marching up the high road, standing round the war memorial, watching old people lay wreathes. It meant very little to me as a child. My main memories were of being freezing cold and having to stay quite until the bugle sounded. The bugle was my favourite bit.
Last year however Remembrance Day had a whole new meaning to me. Not because of the continuing conflicts abroad, even though I do know people in the armed forces that are out there. Not because my two granddads fought in the Second World War. I know very little of what they did. One died when I was very small and the other chose never to speak to us of what happened when he was posted in Burma.
My friend and I decided to take photos of the local church for our local history website and included in these photos were the war memorial and war graves.
At home we started to go through the photos and became curious as to who these people were? Where they had lived? Were they local or had they been stationed at RAF Chigwell during WW2? So we did some research.
I can’t say how others should remember or even if they should at all. However for me, the act of finding out about the soldiers buried in my local church yard and those remembered on the war memorial has brought home to me what a huge sacrifice they made for the freedom of our country.
They were normal men and women; they had families, mums, dads, brothers and sisters. Some had wives and children. Some were younger than my son is now. The thought of him having to go to fight on the front line is terrifying and must have been for the families left behind.
On 11th November I will remember those men and women. In some strange way I feel I know them. Obviously I don’t, I know hardly anything about them, only bare facts. However, I feel I owe them a huge dept and am proud to wear my poppy and say ‘We will remember them’
Leonard Alfred Aylott, Sergeant W. Op, RAF Volunteer Reserves, 233 Sqdn, 747979Died 15th April 1941 aged 32
Leonard Alfred Aylott was born 1908, in Leyton, Essex. As a child Len lived in Aukland Road in Leyton with his parents Harry Herbert Aylott, a railway goods guard from Hillingdon and Ellen Aylott (nee Tarling) from Buckhurst Hill. Len had younger sisters Nellie, Dorothy and Elsie. Harry & Ellen also had another child who died as a baby or small child.
Leonard was killed, along with his crewmen Douglas Green, Pilot, Fredrick Lown, Co-Pilot and Wilfred Rooks, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, when their plane crashed on Ben Lui in Central Scotland during the evening of 15th April 1941 in poor weather conditions.
Leonard was a Wireless Operator in the RAF. He was single and lived in South Woodford when he joined up. Leonard died in the flying accident from compound fracture of the scull and multiple injuries. The wreckage of their plane is still in the Scottish mountains where it crashed 68 years ago.
Died 25th September 1918 aged 17
The youngest casualty to be buried at St John’s Buckhurst Hill.
Sidney was the son of Albert, a General Labourer and Elizabeth Crisp, of Alfred Rd, Buckhurst Hil. Sidney has three sisters Violet, Dorothy Mabel and Martha.
Aged only 17, probably away form home for the first time, Sidney died on the HMS Powerful in Devon. The CWGC records show there were at least 10 other young men who died on HMS Powerful between September & December 1918. This possibly could have been as a result of the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19.
Lesley Sub-Lieutenant, Royal Navy Vol. Reserves, "Hawke" Bn. R.N. Div.Died 13 December 1916 aged 32 of wounds received in the advance on the Ancre
William Lieutenant, Essex Regiment, 4th Battalion Royal Engineers, Died 24th September 1917 aged 38, buried Voornezeele, Belgium
They were the sons of George and Charlotte Black. Lesley was a pupil at Bancrofts School, Walthamstow.
Charles was a 28, Insurance Superintendent from Romford. His mother Mary Ann Harriett Alderton lived in Beech Lane, High Road, Buckhurst Hill.
Charles was Plymouth Brethren and as such was exempted from combatant service on conscientious Grounds. Charles suffered with asthma and died from Influenza, Pneumonia in Gravesend Military Hospital.
St Stephen’s War Memorial
To the Glory of God and in Grateful Remembrance of those who have given their lives for GOD and the RIGHT
“Greater Love hath no Man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”
Frederick Adams, Alfred T. Allen, William Andrews, George T.J. Auker
Alfred G. Ellis, Charles Eldred, Herbert J. Everett
Reginald A. Raven, Herbert A. Ringe, Frederick D. Ringwood, Frederick Rose
To the Praise of God and in memory of our Glorious Dead who fell in the Great War 1914 – 1918
Percy Harold Chidgey aged 27 Years 2nd Lieut 200 Fld CoreArthur Hennell aged 41 Years 2nd Lieut 14 Worc RJohn Maurice Legge aged 26 Years L/CPL Sherwood FsGeoffrey O. Richardson aged 20 Years 2nd Lieut 1/4 Essex RClifford Vernon Tee aged 20 Years 2nd Lieut RGAGeorge Fredk Teverson aged 20 Years Rifleman LRBMaurice Godfrey Wells aged 20 Years 2nd Lieut RFA
"They died that we might live"
Memorial Gate, St John's
Includes all those named on St Stephen’s and St James’ war memorials, plus
World War 1
A.G. Bond, F. Bowyer, George Brown
E. Farmer, Frank Foster, Frank Freeman, William French
James Green, Laurence Gurten, Walter Gurten
Haley, Donald Harnett, Thomas Heath, Henry Hensman, William Heyward, E.G. Hill, Leonard Hirst
Frederick L. Nash, Herbert M. Nash, R.A. Nethercott, W.M. Norden, C.O. Nutt
T.N. Palmer, F. Pearce, Arthur S. Piper, A.W. Powlis
Thomas Radmall, Charles E. Robertson, G. Robertson,
S.A. Smith, Arthur Stock,
Arthur Taylor, J.K. Thurlow, Geoffrey R.Y. Thurlow, William Trundle
Cyril H. Underwood
Joseph Wakelin, Charles Woollard, Herbert Woollard, William Wright
World War 2