The nation will again stand in silence to pay tribute to Britain’s war dead on Remembrance Sunday – 13 November – with a two-minute silence at the war memorials in Fulham and Shepherds Bush.
Services will be held following parades in both the south and north of Hammersmith & Fulham. The services will also see the first public singing in the borough of God Save the King, to mark King Charles lll’s accession.
“The Remembrance services in Fulham and Shepherds Bush are a chance to think about – and pay tribute to – those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us all,” said Cllr Emma Apthorp, Mayor of Hammersmith & Fulham.
Parade – Shepherds Bush War Memorial
A procession will begin at Sulgrave Road, off Shepherds Bush Road, at 10.35am before the open-air service at the war memorial on Shepherds Bush Green, attended by Cllr Daryl Brown, Deputy Mayor of H&F.
The service will be conducted by Father Richard Nesbitt of Our Lady of Fatima Church and Reverend Cameron Collington of St Simon’s Church.
After the service, there will be a march in Shepherds Bush Road by local Army reservists, Army cadets, the Burma Star Association, faith leaders, Hammersmith Scout groups, Metropolitan Police officers and London Fire Brigade cadets.
The Deputy Mayor will take the salute before the parade is dismissed in Westwick Gardens.
Parade – Fulham War Memorial
The procession will begin at Parsons Green at 10.35am and head along New Kings Road to the Fulham War Memorial open-air service in Vicarage Gardens, where H&F Mayor, Cllr Emma Apthorp will attend.
The service will be led by Penny Seabrook, Vicar of All Saints’ church, Fulham.
The service will be followed by a march by military and ex-service groups and local youth organisations across Fulham High Street to Fulham House where the Mayor will take the salute before the parade is dismissed.
Residents are welcome to take part in just the services by going to either Shepherds Bush Green or Vicarage Gardens before 11am.
Following last year’s strict Covid rules on gatherings, Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity for the community to come together to collectively thank the uniformed forces for their service and sacrifice, or to place personal tributes of poppy wreathes, wooden crosses and remembrance sticks at the foot of the memorials.
Anniversary of Shepherds Bush War Memorial
This year also sees the centenary of the dedication of the Shepherds Bush War Memorial. Its widely admired winged Goddess of Peace sculpture on the Green, was created by Henry Fehr, whose studio was in Fulham Road, where he worked alongside the American painter John Singer Sargent.
It was unveiled in front of huge crowds in an Armistice Day commemoration service in Shepherds Bush in November 1922 - exactly four years after the end of hostilities in the First World War on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
The 9ft bronze figure holds a sword in her right hand and a laurel wreath in her left, and rests on a Portland stone pedestal. Though designed in tribute to the First World War dead, it also became the monument to the fallen of the Second World War.
The plaque’s inscription reads:
In the sight of the unwise they seem to die, yet is their hope full of immortality.”
Local historian and former Museum of Fulham Palace worker Peter Trott has been researching the unveiling day, and reports: “The picture shows General Sir Charles Monro with the Mayor of Hammersmith, Alderman Harold Marshall Hays.”
General Monro was 62 and had commanded the first campaigns of the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1914. He later supervised the tactical retreat in Gallipoli, then succeeded Sir Douglas Haig in command of the British Third Army in France. He died in 1929 and is buried at Brompton Cemetery.
Alderman Hays was 50, and a magistrate. He lived at 22 St Peter’s Square, Hammersmith, from 1911, served five years as mayor, from 1920-25. He was knighted in the 1928 New Year Honours for political and public service in the borough.
Adds Peter Trott: “The bronze sculpture has been referred to as the Angel of Peace and could have been influenced by the fabled Angel of Mons.”
That was a rumoured battlefield vision which entered folklore in the early stages of the First World War when a ghostly apparition was supposedly seen to guide British forces to victory at the Battle of Mons, despite being heavily outnumbered by German troops.
Fulham War Memorial
Fulham’s War Memorial is in Vicarage Gardens, close to Putney Bridge. Unveiled on 10 July 1921, it was sculpted by Alfred Turner. Originally put up in Fulham Palace Road, it was moved to its current, leafier location in 1934.
The central bronze figure holds a torch and represents Glory to the Dead. It is dedicated to the honour of Fulham’s gallant dead who ‘died for freedom’.
Other H&F memorials
The borough has other smaller war memorials. These include:
- a stone tablet in Fulham Cemetery marking the deaths of 93 Fulham residents killed in air raids in the Second World War
- an engraved tablet by the Fulham District Nursing Association in Farm Lane, Fulham Broadway
- a stone tablet at Hammersmith Fire Station remembering firefighters
- a memorial at the United Reformed Church in Fulham Palace Road
- a tablet at Fulham sorting office in Fulham Road commemorating war service of postal workers, and
- an engraved memorial at the town hall in King Street to council staff who died in the world wars.
Poppy collectors are selling poppies and brooches this year, but you can also donate to, or volunteer for, the annual Poppy Appeal by the Royal British Legion.
Meanwhile across H&F, members of the Armed Forces community are facing increases in the cost of living.
In response, the Royal British Legion has launched Everyday Needs Grants, providing up to £2,400 over 12 months. Read more and apply here on the Royal British Legion website.
Memories of H&F during wartime
Hammersmith & Fulham has a long tradition of solemn and respectful tributes to the courage of the armed forces, with ceremonies at the borough’s two main war memorials.
The Shepherds Bush memorial sees its dedication centenary in 2022.
During the First World War, many businesses in Hammersmith & Fulham employed women in various roles. Women on the home front in H&F played a vital role in the war effort and, in the process, took significant steps along the road to equality.
You think life was tough during a pandemic? Just picture how things would have been if you had to take a flask of hot tea to an air raid shelter, night after night, while bombs rained down!
Don't forget your shelter bag!
He described himself as a “humble gunner”, but Band Sergeant Major VC Fairfield, who signed up and trained with the Territorials at the Shepherds Bush drill hall as the Second World War loomed, was being modest.
Hammersmith & Fulham is one of the most proudly diverse boroughs in the country.
But what was life like for Black residents during the Second World War?
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