On Sunday 8th November, St. Stephen’s welcomed members of the Royal British Legion Paddington Branch for an Act of Remembrance and the laying of wreaths at the war memorial in the church. The ceremony also included representatives of the London Fire Brigade, the Metropolitan Police; St. John’s Ambulance Service and the Salvation Army (Portobello Road).
In the 75th anniversary year of the Battle of Britain, we recalled the famous words of Winston Churchill – ‘Never before in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.’ – reflected in the poem written by the Battle of Britain pilot, Flight Lieuftenant William Walker, and now inscribed on the Memorial Wall at Capel-Le-Ferne.
Here inscribed the names of friends we knew,
Young men with whom we often flew.
Scrambled to many angels high,
They knew that they or friends might die.
Many were very scarcely trained,
And many badly burnt or maimed.
Behind each name a story lies
Of bravery in summer skies;
Though many brave unwritten tales
Were simply told in vapour trails.
Many now lie in sacred graves
And many rest beneath the waves.
Outnumbered every day they flew,
Remembered here as just ‘The Few’.
Freya Fasanya and Morgan Jones, both aged 8, presented a posy of poppies at the war memorial with the following words:
We bring these poppies on behalf of all children
to say thank you for all those who have died
in order that we might live in freedom and peace.