During World War I, men from the New Zealand army were stationed at Grey Towers in Hornchurch where their hospital was based.
Among them were 150 men from the Pacific Island of Niue who fought in France, with the allies, in the Battle of the Somme. Four of them died in Hornchurch of illness during June 1916 and their graves are in St Andrew’s Churchyard.
As part of the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme commemorations, a party from the Niue Return Services Association came to St Andrew’s for a special service of Remembrance and to visit the graves of their fellow countrymen.
A quarter peal was rung prior to the service and a commemorative plaque, shown below, is to be installed inside St Andrew’s Church.
St Andrew (18–0–0 in E♭)
Saturday, 17 September 2016
1. John W Stephenson
2. Ros C Skipper
3. Rebecca A Woolward
4. Gavin S Carpenter
5. Clive J Stephenson (C)
6. Anthony F Ammerlaan
Prior to a service commemorating the 100 years since soldiers from The Niue Islands fought alongside British troops on the Western Front in World War I.
Four such soldiers have graves in St Andrew’s churchyard, having died at a convalescent hospital based in Hornchurch at that time.