Veterans attend Hall Place unveiling for Remembrance Day
PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 November 2018
Some important visitors were brought to Hall Place yesterday (November 5) to commemorate Remembrance Day and the centenary of 1918.
A new statue and a bench were unveiled to mark the occasion, where eight taxis from the famous Taxi Charity for Military Veterans brought 17 veterans to Bexley from all across the south east.
On arrival they were taken on a guided tour of Hall Place exhibitions Faces of the Great War and the Code name – Santa Fe, before leaving for the gardens, where they spent some time helping pupil governors from Gravel Hill School to sow poppy seeds.
The children also heard why the poppy is used as a sign of remembrance.
The children and special guests, including the mayor and mayoress of Bexley Cllr Brian Bishop and Cllr Christine Bishop, deputy lieutenant major David Hewer, leader of the council cllr Teresa O’Neill and local ward councillors then attended the official unveiling of the There But Not There sculpture and bench.
The official unveiling was performed by the mayor and the deputy lieutenant.
Three wreaths were then laid at the foot of the statue.
The sculpture at Hall Place was funded by L&Q Housing Association, who were represented at the unveiling and thanked by the mayor for their generous contribution.
The statue is one of two in the borough.
The other There but not there statue will be unveiled on Remembrance Sunday at Crayford War Memorial in Mayplace Road.
Cllr O’Neill said: “Every Remembrance Day is significant as we remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.
“As this year marks such an important point in our history with the centenary of the ending of World War One, it seemed only fitting that we recognise it in a more permanent manner by erecting two of these extremely poignant statues in the borough.
“The fact that we were honoured today by the presence of some of our veterans, transported to us by the amazing Taxi Charity who do so much for our armed forces, makes the day even more special.
“I hope that visitors to Hall Place and Gardens will take the time to see the new installation and bench placed here in honour of all the men and women that gave and continue to give so much for their country.”
Bill Gladden laid one of the wreaths at the statue.
As part of the Royal Armoured Corp, Bill flew a reconnaissance glider in to Normandy.
He said: “A huge thank you to The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans for arranging this visit to Hall Place and Gardens during Remembrance Week.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the exhibitions, meeting the local school children, laying a wreath from the veterans at the ‘There But Not There’ sculpture and catching up with our friends and comrades in such lovely surroundings.”
Following the unveiling the veterans and their drivers were joined by other guests for a special lunch in the Hall Place Riverside Café before being chauffeured back home.