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VETERANS joined solemn Remembrance commemorations on Sunday to honour millions of soldiers and civilians who have died in conflict.

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Young people joined the 100 plus veterans, dignitaries and members of the public in the march through Dagenham Village on Sunday while many more attended a service in Barking park.

Mayor Nirmal Singh Gill paid tribute to soldiers who have fought in Afghanistan including the Royal Anglian Regiment, which was given Barking and Dagenham’s highest distinction, the Freedom of the Borough, because of its local links in 2009.

The Mayor has already raised £10,000 for Help For Heroes, assisting wounded soldiers, while the Dagenham branch of the British Legion hopes to collect £20,000 through the Poppy Appeal this year. Donations are also expected to be received by the Barking and Becontree branches of the British Legion.

Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas said: “It was great to see so many young people, so the younger generations can understand the sacrifices of those who went to war and guaranteed their freedom today. It was a moving yet inspiring day.”

Mayor Gill said: “At this time of year our thoughts turn to the servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We are particularly aware of the brave soldiers who are risking their lives in Afghanistan.”

Council leader Cllr Liam Smith: “In this borough it seems that everyone has someone in their family who is serving or has served. It’s something very close to my heart.”

Remembrance services took place on November 11 and November 13 in the Heathway, Dagenham. A wreath-laying service went ahead at 10am on Remembrance Sunday at Barking Park. A service took place at Dagenham Parish Church followed by a march in Dagenham Village on Sunday.

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