Torch procession lights up dark on Armistice Day

Photo: Emily Jupp

Violinist pays tribute at event Photo: Emily Jupp

Lewisham paid tribute to the soldiers killed in World Wars I and II on Wednesday in a night time lantern parade.

The parade processed through Ladywell and Brockley cemeteries, stopping at various points for dancers, orators and musicians to perform.

Despite the poor weather, hundreds of local families attended the event. Children made lanterns to take to the parade and parents were enticed by an “after- event” at the historic Rivoli Ballrooms by Crofton Park station.

Olly Fox, seven years old from Brockley, said he had been at St Andrew’s church earlier in the day to make colourful lanterns for the procession.

“We used big black paper and cling-film and wallpaper paste,” he added.

Armistice Day is intended to commemorate the deaths of those in both World Wars, as well as all other conflicts throughout history.

David Bottomley, one of the performers, read war poems to the crowds including For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon and The Soldier by Rupert Brooke.

Mr Bottomley said: “This event is an important tribute to all the soldiers who died in the Second World War, but also to those in Afghanistan this year.

“This is a particularly poignant year as it marks the end of our living connection with World War One, as the last remaining veterans passed away.”

Mr Bottomley added: “It makes the poems important – they are evocative and help us to bring that time to life.”

Other performances included a modern dance piece by the Maaikor Dance Company, based in Lewisham, Intermezzo by Johannes Brahms, and Sonata No. 1 by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Laura Moss, 17, from Brockley, felt that there weren’t enough events around her neighbourhood and Ladywell that paid respect to past soldiers. She said: “There are lots of schools around here, so it’s good for students to understand what it means for remembrance, the event appeals to everyone.”

The event was organised and produced by John McKiernan of Moonbow Jakes Events, which specialises in promenade and outdoor performances in Brockley.

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