Over 100 members of the community gathered in Chingford Mount for the service of commemoration

Community gathers for Great War candlelit vigil

Clergy members gather at the civilian war memorial to read hymns and prayers aloud

Members of the public gather together to light one another's candles.

Hundreds congregate at memorial for 'moving' WW1 candlelit vigil

Members of the public shield their candles from the wind behind an order of service

First published in News
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East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Chingford, Highams Park and Woodford. Call me on 07795 476 625

A candlelit vigil to honour those killed in the First World War was attended by more than 100 members of the community.

The ceremony on the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War took place at the civilian war memorial in Albert Crescent, Chingford, yesterday.

Organised by Conservative councillor for Hatch Lane, Geoff Walker, and in conjunction with the Royal British Legion (RBL) and Christian churches across Chingford, the service was opened by Reverend Lesley Goldsmith of St Edmund's Church in Larkswood Road. 

The service invloved Christian hymns and prayers and was attended by priests and pastors from every Catholic and Anglican Church across Chingford. 

At 10pm, drummers from the Epping Forest Pipe Band led a ceremonial placement of a drum head altar.

One by one drums were placed in position stacked three-tiers high, followed by a march of the standards by Chingford RBL branch members. 

The two flag bearers draped the Union flags across the altar.

Clergyman Christopher Mayston-King, 48, of St Edmund's Church participated in the service by holding a gold cross.  

Mr Mayston-King said: "It was very moving and nice to see so many people come down. It was a very proud evening." 

He was joined at the service by his 85-year-old mother, Hilda Toole, who lost both her grandfathers in the two world wars. 

"I lost both my grandfathers in the First and Second World War so for me it is a great deal," she said. 

"Most of the people here are much too young to really know about the war, so it's great to have so many turn out. 

"We have a lot to be thankful for."

Midway through the service, members of the public were asked to light their candle from a person next to them and keep them alight until the final blessing and ceremonial removal of drum altar.

The National Anthem was then sung.  

Two Waltham Forest police officers were present at the service. 

Mike Cowie, head of operations, said: "We're here to pay tribute to the many men and women that gave their lives for our freedoms today.  

The event coincided with the national 'Lights Out' campaign and service at Westminster Abbey.

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