INSPIRING war heroes were poignantly honoured this morning as touching Remembrance Sunday services were held across South Essex.

Thousands gathered at various ceremonies to pay tribute to both the fallen soldiers who fought to protect our futures and the servicemen and woman who continue to fight today.

In Southend, the service took place at the Cenotaph on Clifftown Parade and saw locals reflect on the monumental sacrifices that were made during the first and second world wars.


At 11am the occasion was marked with a performance of the Last Post before the exhortation was delivered by the chairman of Leigh’s Royal British Legion, Keith Fletcher.

A traditional two-minute silence then followed, which was concluded by the Reveille and Kohima epitaph.  

The service continued with a performance of the touching hymn I Vow To Thee My Country.


Following on from a special music festival which was held on Saturday night, residents in Billericay also paid their respects.

In a stunning act of remembrance at the Billericay High Street War Memorial, prayers were read alongside a fitting parade.

The fallen were commemorated against a beautiful backdrop of clear blue skies as wreaths were laid and a two-minute silence was held.

Elsewhere, in South Benfleet, young students from the Holy Family Catholic Primary School and Parish unveiled a powerful poppy cascade at the Holy Family Church.

The beautiful piece was hand-made by the school's pupils, teachers, staff members and through parish workshops.

Over 800 poppies make up the tribute with most displaying quotes, personal messages and the names of those who lost their lives, including the names from South Benfleet War Memorial.

Children from the school attended the Remembrance Sunday Mass and brought poppies up during the service, which were added to the base of the display.

A silhouette of a soldier has also been made and donated to the church, to stand alongside the cascade.


In Canvey a remembrance service took place at The Paddocks in Long Road for which more than 800 people turned out for. 

Following the ceremony there was a procession which led to the war memorial where wreaths were laid. 


There was also a special performance from singer Jill Curd which was enjoyed and watched by Reverend Marion Walford.

Councillor Dave Blackwell praised the service and large turnout, and also said it was gratifying to see so many young families in attendance.

He said: “It was a very good service, the weather was nice, and it was a joy to be there.

It was so great to see all the young cadets, police officers, army and the fire brigade all turn up.

“I wasn’t disappointed at all and so many attended and crammed into the Paddocks car park – the Canvey community will always support it.

“It seems to get bigger every year and the gratifying thing was seeing so many young families there with their children carrying on the tradition.

“It is so important that these soldiers aren’t forgotten.”