Battle of the Somme Centenary Battle of the Somme Centenary

1 July 2016 marks the centenary of the battle of the Somme during the First World War. As part of nationwide commemorations, Redbridge Libraries and Redbridge Museum are leading a special programme.

Friday 1 July

Launch of website- Redbridge and the First World War

Redbridge Museum has launched a brand new website about the impacts of the First World War on Redbridge visit


Ilford War Memorial Service, Eastern Avenue

Service of Commemoration by the Royal British Legion

  • Time: 10am


Valentines Park

Unveiling of plaque in memory of Corporal Horace Cowlin who was killed on the first day of the battle of the Somme.

  • Time: 2pm
  • The plaque will be unveiled next to the memorial shelter


The Somme: A special evening of commemoration at Gants Hill Library

This commemorative evening will commence with a screening of a film from the period about the battle of the Somme. Followed by an illustrated talk by Nick Dobson at 7pm.


Saturday 2 July

Pop - up Library at Fairlop Fair

The Pop - up Library features a small Redbridge Museum exhibition and information on local experience of the First World War plus a collection of related library materials.


Sunday 3 July

Service and Parade by Royal British Legion

  • Time: 10.30am at St Peter's Church, Aldborough Hatch


Film Screenings

Free screening of a film from the period about the battle of the Somme


Wanstead Library

  • Thursday 7 July screening at 6.30pm & 7.30pm


For further information please email


Redbridge and the First World War book Redbridge Museum

Redbridge Museum has launched a brand new book about the impacts of the First World War on Redbridge.

The book is fully illustrated and features extensive new research not previously published. Copies can be purchased from Redbridge Museum and most Redbridge libraries, price £4.95. Copies can also be purchased online for £6.99 (including postage and packaging)


This book uncovers some of the impacts of the First World War in Ilford, Wanstead and Woodford, in what is now the London Borough of Redbridge.

Based on new research by Redbridge Museum, the book explores how the war affected local life, the international nature of the conflict, family histories of local residents and how people coped with the transition to peace.

From the recruiting offices of the 4th Essex Regiment to the bloodstained shores of Gallipoli, the book follows the lives of local soldiers but also outlines how those at home were affected. This included a local airfield used in the defence of London against Zeppelin raids, factories geared to the war effort, hospitals which treated the wounded, residents who provided a home for Belgian refugees and an insight into how the lives of women and children were altered.

Featuring a wealth of photographs, archives and personal family papers the story is told through the words of the people who were there.


For any enquiries, please contact


Redbridge and the First World War: An ExhibitionRedbridge and the First World War Exhibition

11 November 2014 - 30 May 2015

This major exhibition by Redbridge Museum uncovered some of the local impacts of the First World War. Based on new research, the exhibition explored how the war affected local life, the international nature of the conflict and the family histories of today's Redbridge residents.

The display featured a wealth of historic objects, photographs and personal items, many were on display for the first time. The exhibition also included films made by Wanstead High School students and artist Victoria Lucas, working with the Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.


National Memory Local Stories

Redbridge Museum with students from Wanstead High School participated in National Memory - Local Stories, a nationwide project led by the National Portrait Gallery, London. At workshops at Redbridge Museum, students explored a poignant collection of documents, photographs and medals from the Museum relating to Private Cyril Page of Wanstead, who was killed in action in 1918. The students produced a film about the life of Cyril which was shown during the exhibition 'Redbridge and the First World War' which ran at Redbridge Museum from November 2014 to June 2015.


Watch here:


Lights Out

Redbridge Council took part in the UK-wide Lights Out event on Monday 4 August 2014. Lights out was an invitation to everyone to turn off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on 4 August. The event marked 100 years since Britain declared war on Germany, at 11pm on 4 August 1914.

Several Council and Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure buildings took part in Lights Out.


Poppy FieldsPoppies in Ray Park

During 2014 poppies were planted in prominent places in the Borough.  Existing summer wild flower meadows in parks and open spaces were over sowed with an enriched poppy mix to provide a strong poppy theme.

Below is a list of sites:  

  • Goodmayes Park
  • Elmhurst Gardens
  • South Park
  • Roding Valley Park, Roding Lane South
  • Ray Park (picture to the right)
  • Clayhall Park
  • Valentines Park
  • Redbridge Recreation Ground
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