Our Elected Mayor Baroness Dorothy Thornhill and Chairman Councillor Darren Walford led the borough in a Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Town Hall Peace Memorial.
Wreaths were laid by ex-servicemen’s and women’s organisations, led by the Royal British Legion, the police, fire and rescue service, ambulance service, scouts, army cadets and many others. The families of Watford soldiers Corporal Chris Harrison and Captain Thomas Sawyer, both 26, who gave their lives in separate incidents during the Afghanistan war, were there. Councillors, and Watford MP Richard Harrington, were also present, as was Canadian Stephanie Wood (pictured), who attended the service to honour her Watford grandfather, William I Wood. Mr Wood died in the Great War on Christmas Eve 1916.
Elected Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said: “It’s so important that we continue to remember those who have given their lives for our country. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, but we must also remember those who have died in conflict in more recent times. We remember Corporal Harrison and Captain Sawyer, and their brave sacrifice, and that of all those who have died in conflict to secure our futures.”
Chairman Councillor Darren Walford said: “Within Watford’s Remembrance Sunday ceremony a separate wreath laying takes place to remember all the children who have died in wars. War can have a devastating impact on families and their sacrifice must also be remembered.”
Vice Chairman of Watford Borough Council Councillor Jagtar Singh Dhindsa joined Watford Synagogue, fire cadets and pupils from Knutsford School to lay a wreath at the Anne Frank Tree on Sunday. The commemoration event takes place at the tree – planted near Watford Central Library on 12 June 1998 – every year.
A total of 19,420 British Army soldiers gave their lives during the first day of the Battle of the Somme – more than on any other day during the Great War. The Great War ended at 11am on 11 November, 1918. Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday commemorate all military lives lost in two world wars and also wartime sacrifices since 1945, for which Watford has an additional memorial stone.