A time for reflection – As the all-important date of 4 August approaches, marking 100 years since Britain officially entered World War One, Havering Council is reminding people about all the things happening as part of the commemorations in the borough.

Many organisations, including the Council, schools, voluntary organisations, and community groups, have activities and events planned to remember and honour those who lived, fought and died during WW1.

Councillor Melvin Wallace, Cabinet Member for Culture and Community Engagement, said:

“The impact of World War One can be felt by all of us in some way, and the centenary gives us the perfect opportunity to join together as a community and remember all those who lived and served through the war.

“There are lots of wonderful events and activities that have been arranged and I hope that all of us, young and old, can take part and just reflect on the people, their lives and the events that changed them, and history, forever.”

The Council has produced a booklet detailing all the events, exhibitions and activities taking place over the next year to mark the centenary, which is available on the Council website or at the Visitor Centre on South Street in Romford, in all libraries and at Havering Museum.

Here are a few of the things coming up very soon.

Civic Service

As part of the commemorations a special multi-faith Civic Service will be held at St Edward the Confessor Church in Romford Market Place at 7:30pm on Monday 4 August. The Service, which is open to everyone, will mark the outbreak of a war, which had such a tragic impact on individuals, communities and nations across the world.


In 1914, Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary at the time spoke the words “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

As part of the national LIGHTS OUT campaign, everyone in the country is being encouraged to take part in a national moment of reflection on 4 August, by turning off their lights between 10pm and 11pm – leaving just one single light or candle burning.

“Even the smallest of actions can have such a profound meaning, and we want to join together for this time of reflection,” said Councillor Melvin Wallace, Cabinet Member for Culture and Community Engagement.

Havering’s Town Hall, libraries and Upminster Windmill are just some of the buildings in the borough that will be turning their LIGHTS OUT. Residents are also invited to do the same.

Remembering with Poppies

The Council has planted poppies across the borough in honour of those who lived and died through the war. They can be seen at:

-King George Playing Fields along Eastern Avenue, The Town Hall and Coronation Gardens, outside Harrow Lodge Park, outside Upminster Hall, Harold Hill War Memorial, Elm Park Broadway and the Waterloo estate in Romford.

Visit one of the restored War Memorials

The Council has recently restored its main war memorials in Harold Hill, Upminster, Romford and Hornchurch, while the restoration of the Rainham memorial is almost complete.

Last November the Council announced it had received £86,200 for the work from Veolia North Thames Trust.

The restoration has included repair and maintenance such as carefully cleaning the memorials, repainting, repairing and paving cracked stone, and redoing brickwork where necessary.

Havering Museum and Romford Library exhibition

The Council and Havering Museum are joining forces to put on an exhibition that will depict the impact of the war in Havering a century ago.

The exhibition, titled: Home Front Havering – Local Life in the First World War, launches on Saturday 9 August and will run until Saturday 15 November 2014.

This joint exhibition between Havering Museum and Havering Libraries’ Local Studies and Family History Centre tells the story of the area that now forms the London Borough of Havering during an extraordinary and devastating period of modern history.

The exhibition explores the impact of conscription, the role of women, changes in industry and the impact of a heavy military presence with army camps at Hornchurch and Romford, and the birth of what became RAF Hornchurch.

Entrance to the library exhibition is free, while admission to the museum’s exhibition is at the standard rate of £2.50 (senior citizens £2, children up to 16 free). Artifacts, photographs and memorabilia contributed by local people will be displayed in the museum’s Memory Case.

For a full list of events and activities across the borough, visit www.havering.gov.uk/WW1