On Saturday the 11 November 2017 the Highams Park Society held its annual remembrance ceremony at the Halex Memorial in Hale End and Highams Park library. Castle Avenue. E4 9QD at 10.45am
The ceremony of remembrance was lead by Sandeep Christian, Chairman of the Highams Park Society. Chrina Jarvis read The Dead by Rupert Brooks and Sandeep talked about Armistice Day, Highams Park, Passchendaele and Edward Bridges. Edward Bridges lived in Winchester Road, and his grandson, Ian Brown, read an extract from Edward Bridge’s diary written during World War I.
Sandeep gave a short talk about the Halex Plaques, Ian Brown read a poem by Siegfried Sassoon and Chrina read a poem about Passchendaele.
The names on the plaques were read by Chrina. Four buglers played the Last Past followed by ‘For the Fallen’. Two minutes silence was observed followed by the buglers playing Reveille.
The wreath was laid by Rt. Hon. Iain Duncan-Smith MP.
The plaques were originally located on the War Memorial at the Xylonite Halex factory, which was in Larkswood Road near the Highams Park End.
The factory opened in 1985 and made plastic items such as brushes, combs and domestic goods. At one time it made almost the world supply of table tennis balls. The factory employed more than 1,000 people at its height which was in the early 20th century . The factory closed in 1970 and production was moved to Suffolk.
The War Memorial at the Xylonite Halex factory had two plaques mounted on it. The larger commemorating those employee who fell during the Great War (WW1) and the smaller plaque the Second World War. The plaques were moved when the factory closed.
The Highams Park Society traced the plaques to Brantham, with the help of war memorial expert Ian Wade from Chingford.
Highams Park Society member Sandeep Christian said: “We thought it was important that the plaques were returned, because they had been in Highams Park for such a long time, from about 1919 until 1970. Some of the names on the memorial are for people who still have relatives living in Highams Park.”
This site lists all the names on the memorial and gives their history. www.highamsparkwarmemorial.co.uk
The Remembrance Ceremony 2015
A non-denominational Remembrance Ceremony is normally held each year by the Highams Park Society. A poem was recited by Ian Brown at the ceremony.