Tribute to fallen Dagenham WW11 bomb disposal experts

Two brave bomb disposal experts killed in Dagenham during World War Two were remembered today (Friday) on the 72nd anniversary of their deaths.

A two-minute silence was observed next to the memorial plaque to Chief Petty Officer Richard Ellingworth and Lieutenant Commander John Ryan at Dagenham Civic Centre.

Members of the Royal Naval Association, who lowered their standards in tribute to the fallen, supported Mayor Anthony Ramsay, in laying a commemorative wreath.

Each year Mr T.V. Ellingworth, grandson of CPO Ellingworth sends a commemorative wreath that is ceremonially laid beneath the plaque situated next to the entrance of the building’s main chamber.

Councillor Anthony Ramsay said: “It was an honour to take part in this ceremony which keeps alive the memory of two very brave men. CPO Ellingworth and Lt Cdr Ryan gave their lives trying to protect the people of Dagenham and they will never be forgotten.”

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On September 21, 1940 CPO Ellingworth and Lt Cdr Ryan successfully defused a device in Hornchurch which was threatening an explosives factory. They were then called to Oval Road North, Dagenham, to defuse a mine. The device was hanging from its parachute in the rafters of a warehouse. Tragically the bomb went off before they could defuse it and both were killed.

The two men were awarded the George Cross posthumously by King George VI in December 1940.

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Cllr Ramsay added: “The two minute’s silence was particularly moving because of the fact that servicemen and women are risking their lives in Afghanistan today. Bomb disposal experts are heavily involved in this conflict and their job is just as dangerous as it was 72 years ago.”

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