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Remembrance Day in Islington Green: Armistice centenary at war memorial ‘strikes a chord through all generations’

PUBLISHED: 10:46 12 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:56 12 November 2018

Remembrance Day at Islington Green on Sunday. Picture: Islington Council

Remembrance Day at Islington Green on Sunday. Picture: Islington Council

Archant

Children and veterans were among hundreds of people who marched together down Upper Street as part of celebrations marking the centenary of the Armistice yesterday.

Volunteers across Islington knitted nearly 300 poppies for the Armistice Day centenary, which are now on show outside the town hall. Picture: Islington CouncilVolunteers across Islington knitted nearly 300 poppies for the Armistice Day centenary, which are now on show outside the town hall. Picture: Islington Council

The Remembrance Day parade finished on Islington Green, where a short inter-faith service was given before the two-minute silence was observed.

During the service, Rev Nigel Williams remembered the 10,000 people from the then-boroughs of Islington and Finsbury who lost their lives during the conflict. Wreaths were then laid by representatives of the council, the armed forces and local community organisations.

Ronald Ranger, former chair of the Islington Veterans Association, said: “It’s brilliant. The parade gets bigger and bigger every year and so does the vets’ association. I was getting smiled at all the way down the street this morning.”

The borough’s deputy lieutenant Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes, who represents the Queen in Islington, agreed. “Clearly the centenary has struck a chord through all the generations,” he said, “which is marvellous to see.”

Remembrance Day at Islington Green on Sunday. Picture: Islington CouncilRemembrance Day at Islington Green on Sunday. Picture: Islington Council

As well as the multiple representatives from youth service units, some 400 youngsters from local scout and guide organisations took part in the parade.

Scout leaders Joseph Goldsmith, Christopher Hunt and Dot Wrigglesworth all attended with the 1st Islington scout group. Mr Goldsmith said: “It’s great to see so many young people here – there are scout groups from all over the district.

“It’s very important to for the children to do this. It’s how to keep the remembrance going. They understand it’s a sombre occasion but they do enjoy it.”

As well as the parade and service, mayor of Islington Cllr Dave Poyser drew attention to the work done by Islington volunteers, who knitted poppies to honour those who died.

Remembrance Day at Islington Green on Sunday. Picture: Islington CouncilRemembrance Day at Islington Green on Sunday. Picture: Islington Council

He said: “Islington has a fantastic spirit for volunteering and I’m especially proud that many of these fantastic poppies were knitted in my ward. My respect and thanks to all the people who were involved.”

Cllr Poyser wore the military cross that was awarded to his grandfather, Leonard Parkes of the Surrey regiment, in 1918.

Peter McCafferty, parade and pageant-master, was very pleased with the parade, but was already looking ahead to next year. “As soon as it ends it begins again,” he said.

The parade was the first in a day of commemorative events, including services at Spa Green Gardens and Manor Gardens and a beacon lighting ceremony in Dartmouth Park in the evening.

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