Remembrance Day: Hampstead falls silent at interfaith service
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."