A veteran born weeks after the end of the First World War was one of the ex-servicemen remembering the sacrifices of the armed forces community from Britain and the Commonwealth last weekend.
Len Jones, 101-year-old president of Eltham and Well Hall’s Royal British Legion, laid a wreath at Greenwich’s war memorial on Sunday.
Remembrance services in the borough were curtailed because of lockdown rules, with only a simple wreath-laying for a borough with strong ties to the army and the Royal British Legion.
Only a select few veterans took part in paying respects to the fallen and their families, but residents were urged to join in and remember from home.
David Randall, branch chairman of the Royal British Legion’s Thamesmead and Abbey Wood branch, said: “At this time of great disruption to us all, it is important that we all take a few minutes of our time to remember all servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defending the free world and those who continue to serve in our armed forces today.”
Greenwich mayor Councillor Linda Bird, council leader Cllr Danny Thorpe and cabinet member for communities Cllr Adel Kharieh were joined with other counclliors and members from the Royal British Legion to lay wreaths in groups no larger than six, while observing social distancing.
An Armistice Day live stream service on Wednesday has been cancelled because of new lockdown measures.
Instead, Cllr Bird and Cllr Thorpe will hold a two-minute silence outside Woolwich Town Hall on the day.
Cllr Bird said: “We take this time to remember all the men and women from many cultures and backgrounds who have given their lives in service, so that we can be free.
“Our strong ties to the army and wide Nepalese community is a reminder of how important remembrance is to us – particularly during this very difficult time. It is my honour to lay wreaths on behalf of the people of Greenwich.”
Pictured top: From left, David Ball, chairman of the Royal British Legion’s Charlton and Blackheath Branch, Cllr Linda Bird, the Mayor of Royal Greenwich, and Cllr Danny Thorpe, leader of the council.
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.