HUNDREDS of people attended services at Tilbury Fort, St Catherine's Church and Coalhouse Fort in East Tilbury to pay their respect to those who lost their lives fighting in World War One.

The great war started 100 years ago on Monday night.

Tilbury Fort was one of the major Thames defences between 1914 and 1918, manned with costal guns and the site of anti-aircraft armaments for combating Zeppelins and bombers.

On Monday, it hosted an event, supported by a £5,500 Heritage Lottery Fund award to Thurrock Council, which marked the centenary with a programme of activities looking at Thurrock’s role in the Great War with a special focus on the home front and industries.

Among the attractions were the re-creation of a 1914 trench, artillery, firing of an 18-pounder field gun, a First World War camp and cookhouse, a horse and mules display, knitting comforts for the troops, a pharmacy, a 1914 allotment garden, an armoury with small arms and rifles of the Great War and an artificers’ workshop with carpentry and metal work.

The borough's mayor, Steve Liddiard, was in attendance, as were the Thurrock Local History Society and the Tilbury Riverside Project and volunteers who recorded and collected memorabilia as well as family stories.

On Monday evening, deputy mayor, Cllr Sue Gray, was at St Catherine’s Church, East Tilbury, and the nearby Coalhouse Fort for the Lights Out commemoration.

It was standing room only at the church for the service before the Last Post was played at the fort.

Thurrock Gazette: WW1 memorial at Tilbury fort

Monday's event at Tilbury Fort