Remembrance Day: Hampstead falls silent at interfaith service

Interfaith Remembrance service at the Hampstead War Memorial near Whitestone Pond on 11.11.21.Pictu

Camden Cllr Sabrina Francis, speaker Anthea Ionides, Chf insp Richard Berns and service leader Rev Kate Dean with reception pupils from Hampstead Hill School Zacharus Khan, Ellie Taylor and Arnold Schipka at the Interfaith Remembrance service at the Hampstead War Memorial near Whitestone Pond - Credit: Polly Hancock

Silence fell on a Hampstead memorial as people gathered to pay their respects at an interfaith Remembrance Day service.

The annual Armistice Day service at Whitestone Pond was attended by Camden mayor Cllr Sabrina Francis, who laid a wreath on behalf of the council, as well as dozens of pupils from Hampstead Hill School and members of the community.

Interfaith Remembrance service at the Hampstead War Memorial near Whitestone Pond on 11.11.21.Speak

Speaker Beverley Ostrin from Hampstead Synagogue and Rev Kate Dean - Credit: Polly Hancock

Rev Kate Dean, from Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel led the service before trumpeter Tom Betts, a pupil from William Ellis School, played the Last Post and Reveille, leading people to a two minute silence.  

Baroness Garden of Frognal read the Exhortation and Anthea Ionides the Kohima Epitaph.

Anthony Ostrin, of the Hampstead Synagogue, sang a reading in Hebrew and his wife Beverley Ostrin read a psalm. 

Interfaith Remembrance service at the Hampstead War Memorial near Whitestone Pond on 11.11.21.
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Anthony and Beverley Ostrin at the Interfaith Remembrance service at the Hampstead War Memorial near Whitestone Pond on 11.11.21. - Credit: Polly Hancock

This was followed by a reading in Arabic and English by Imam Mehmed Stublla, of the Albanian Muslim Community. 

After the service, Cllr Francis said she felt "honoured" to represent the borough: "It's important to lay the wreath and remember the people who have died, both the citizens and the military."

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Wreaths were also laid by Supt Richard Gentry of the City of London, the Metropolitan Police, Marc Hutchinson from the Heath & Hampstead Society, Linda Chung on behalf of the War Memorial Conservation and young pupils from Hampstead Hill School.

Interfaith Remembrance service at the Hampstead War Memorial near Whitestone Pond on 11.11.21.Wreat

Wreaths at the foot of the Hampstead War Memorial at Whitestone Pond on 11.11.21 - Credit: Polly Hancock

Eleven years ago the crumbling 1922 memorial was restored with the help of veterans Alexander Rudelhof and Brian Keys – who donated £24,000 after an appeal from Linda Chung, organiser of the event.

Ms Chung, who was part of the restoration and organiser of the service said it was a "beautiful" service.

Interfaith Remembrance service at the Hampstead War Memorial near Whitestone Pond on 11.11.21.Organ

Organiser Linda Chung with a wreath - Credit: Polly Hancock

Mr Ostrin said: "It's a very important feature of the early calendar and speaking on behalf of the Jewish Synagogue, it's very important that we are seen as part of the wider community, we are not insular. That's why I'm here."

Baroness Garden of Frognal said: "It's great to have the service. It's great to see the children and I hope it means something to them. 

"One of the other great things about this is the interfaith, the fact that we have Christians, Muslims and Jews all taking part."

A close neighbour, Herbert Weise who attended with his wife Clemencia, said: "It's very important that this day is remembered because it was the war to end all wars. That didn't quite work but it is never too late to learn we can still strive for a more peaceful world."

Clemencia and Herbert Weise at Whitestone Pond memorial on Remembrance Day

Clemencia and Herbert Weise at Whitestone Pond memorial on Remembrance Day - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

Rev Kate Dean said it's always important to remember. "It's wonderful to have the school children here because it means they will learn about their past but also work to take action for peace in the future," she said.

"It's also lovely to be back as we weren't able to have the full service. Next week is interfaith week so for me it's very important to have different faiths represented at this gathering."



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