August 4th marked the 100th anniversary of the day Britain entered the First World War. Across the country people came together to remember the fallen men and women who fought from 4th August 1914 – 11th November 1918 in one of the most costly conflicts in history. Over 800,000 lives were lost, many coming from Dagenham and Rainham.
The Rainham War Memorial was covered up throughout the entire period of remembrance and people were unable to pay their respects. Jon Cruddas was contacted by many Rainham residents expressing outrage and sadness at this, calling for Havering Council to provide an explanation.
This week Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham contacted the Chief Executive of Havering Council on residents’ behalf demanding an explanation.
Jon said: “this is just unacceptable, I can’t believe that Havering Council has completely overlooked this historic week and what the war memorial in Rainham means to local residents. Many people whose relatives fought in the war have contacted me; angry and rightfully upset that the memorial was boarded up.
“The inscription on war memorials reads ‘lest we forget’. Havering Council’s poor decision to leave the memorial inaccessible during this week took the opportunity to pay tribute away from Rainham residents. I will be pressuring the Council to make sure the memorial is available for Armistice Day in November.”
Residents across the constituency, along with thousands across the United Kingdom lighted candles and turned off their house lights at 10pm on 4th August as a mark of remembrance and respect. There was also remembrance ceremonies across the area.