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Islington community comes together to remember fallen heroes

12:56 17 November 2012

The Remembrance Day parade in Islington

The Remembrance Day parade in Islington

Tony Gay

The community came together on Sunday to remember the country’s fallen heroes.

In Islington, about 200 veterans, cadets, reservists and servicemen and women marched from Highbury Corner to the Town Hall in Upper Street – where they were joined by Mayor of Islington Jilani Chowdhury, councillors, Scouts, Guides and St John Ambulance members.

Everyone then headed to a multi-faith memorial service at Islington Green.

Cllr Chowdhury, the first Bangladeshi mayor of Islington, added: “It’s beautiful for the community to remember their heroes. Without their sacrifices in the world wars, we would not be in this position – a free country and one of the leading countries democratically, financially and in every way.

“If anyone has gone to fight for their country, we should treat them as a hero.”

Around 30 members of the Islington Veterans Association – from their 30s to their 90s – were at the service.

Chairman Ron Ranger, 70, a former lance corporal who has served in Libya, Gibraltar, the Persian Gulf and Northern Ireland, played the Last Post on the bugle as part of the memorial service, which he said gets “bigger and bigger every year”.

He added: “I suffer from post-traumatic stress and I tried to forget about the Army but now it’s important to me. We are a family. We all support each other.

“But we should bring our boys and girls home now. Afghanistan is nothing to do with us.”

Services also took place at the Spa Green War Memorial at the Spa Green Estate off St John Street, Finsbury, and at the Manor Gardens War Memorial in Manor Gardens, Holloway.

One veteran at Manor Gardens was John Wright, 78, a distant relation of one of the men on the memorial.

Mr Wright, from the Andover Estate off Hornsey Road, Holloway, who was himself conscripted to serve in Germany in 1953, said: “I feel upset that soldiers are having to go to places like Afghanistan and get shot for no reason at all. World War Two – to me, that was a necessity.

“I go to the memorial every year without fail.”

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