West Ham pay fitting tribute to the fallen

SUNDAY S game with Everton may not have been one to remember, but it was certainly a day of remembrance at Upton Park for a very different reason. Sir Trevor Brooking unveiled a plaque in front of the West Stand at Upton Park in honour of the West Ham Pal

SUNDAY'S game with Everton may not have been one to remember, but it was certainly a day of remembrance at Upton Park for a very different reason.

Sir Trevor Brooking unveiled a plaque in front of the West Stand at Upton Park in honour of the West Ham Pals of the 13th (Service) Battalion of The Essex Regiment.

The battalion was founded at the start of the first world war by the mayor of Newham and comprised of men from all over east London, many of whom had worked for the Thames Ironworks and who had been loyal West Ham fans.

The battalion became known as The Hammers or The West Ham Pals, and cries of Up the Irons could be heard in the trenches during those dark days of war.


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It was disbanded just before the end of the war in 1918, so this tribute to those who fell during that conflict is long overdue.

There was a two minute silence at 11am to remember the fallen, and another minute's silence before the kick-off against Everton on Sunday afternoon.

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Members of the Royal Anglian regiment were also on duty at the ground to lay a wreath in the centre circle and to form a guard of honour, while both teams wore shirts with poppies emblazoned on them.

The soldiers were given a standing ovation when they left the pitch just before the kick-off.

At half time, Lorraine Birtles paid a fitting tribute to the legend that is Vera Lynn, with a rousing rendition of 'We'll Meet Again'.

To round things off, after the match, the day of memories was completed with Vera Lynn's version of 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles' which features on her latest number one CD.

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