HUNDREDS of people paid tribute to a Walthamstow-born soldier killed in Afghanistan this week at a Remembrance Sunday service today.

The ceremony, at the Walthamstow War Memorial, outside the town hall, in Forest Road, saw scores of servicemen and women, residents, police, army and sea cadets and politicians lay wreaths honouring those who have died fighting in the British armed forces - including 40-year-old Darren Chant who was shot dead by an Afghan policeman on Tuesday.

None of his family, who are thought to live in the midlands, were at the service, but a wreath in his memory was laid by council officer Lynn Rackley, whose son Paul is currently serving in the same battalion as Mr Chant.

She said: “I haven't been able to speak to my son since it happened, but I know that he did know him, although not too well.

“What happened was tragic, but for my family it almost seemed like a relief that it wasn't our son, but of course that doesn't make it any less sad or upsetting.

“One is always fearful when you see the news.”

Ms Rackley, who is the council's member services manager, added: “The whole thing about Remembrance Sunday is that we remember those sacrifices that have been made, but also that sacrifices are still being made, and that there are people still fighting for us.”

The ceremony saw a selection of religious readings and hymns, with music provided by the Waltham Forest Brass Band.

Among the audience were many ex-servicemen.

Second World War navy veteran Harry Hill, 86, said: “Today means a great deal to me.

“You go back and think about some of the good boys and family that were lost - I've got to come here and show my respect.”

But the pensioner, of Castle Avenue in Highams Park, said he was angered by the war in Afghanistan.

He said: “I haven't got any time for it - it's nothing short of disgusting. They should bring our boys home now.”

Another ex-serviceman in the crowd was Ken Mills, who is President of the Walthamstow St John Ambulance branch, and served in the RAF during the 1950s as part of his national service.

Mr Mills, 74, grew up during the Blitz in Boundary Road, Walthamstow.

He said: “Many of my friends were killed in the bombings. For me, today is about remembering them as well as the service personnel.”

He added: “It's very important to remember everyone that we've lost.”

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