Her Majesty visited London’s East End to commemorate the lives of 18 children who were killed after a bomb from a German aircraft hit Upper North Street School in Poplar in June 1917.
A special church service to honour the children, most of whom were five years old when they died, was held at nearby All Saints Church 100 years on, largely thanks to the work of Stanley Kaye who helped bring the relatives of the victims and the Monarch together for the occasion.
Stanley spent the last four years alongside fellow researchers tracking down family members before his persistence persuaded the Queen and Prince Philip to also attend the service.
“The Queen signed the church book and I gave her two gold medallions,” he said.
“She was absolutely exquisite. She asked all the questions and was very, very interested.
“She spent time talking to everybody and did not walk past anybody which showed what a wonderful lady she is.
“We also had a very nice conversation. It was a fantastic day.”
Stanley wrote three times to the Monarch before a Buckingham Palace official called him to say the Queen would like to attend the service.
Stanley, who previously led a campaign for poppies to be planted across Peterborough in memory of the war, introduced the Queen to relatives of the victims, many of whom had flown in from all around the world.
The 63-year-old grew up near the school, which has since changed its name to Mayflower Primary School.
Asked why he dedicated so much of his time towards the memorial service, he said: “I just felt the story needed to be told on its 100th anniversary.
“It’s been four years a labour of love. It’s a phenomenal thing to be a part of, I was very honoured.”