Remembrance Day in North Cyprus
Throughout the world British people come together to remember those that have fallen in the service of their country. This Remembrance Day ceremony has been going on since the end of World War I to remember the members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty.
This day is observed on 11th November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” in accordance with the Armistice, signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 05:12 and 05:20 that morning. (“At the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 a.m.) World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.
The Red Remembrance Poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem “In Flanders Fields”. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.
The Royal British Legion takes 350,000 volunteers and staff to organise the Poppy Appeal each year and money raised goes to support the welfare work to provide practical care, advice and support to serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families. for the Armed Forces community.
So came the eleventh hour here in Kyrenia and there was a great gathering of ex-servicemen and women, plus many expatriates and not forgetting many local citizens who value the ultimate sacrifice that so few made for so many.
( To hear a recording of this event, please click here and minimise your windows media player and continue to read this article and view the pictures.)
Sunday started cold and blustery but by the time of the coming hour, the sun had broken through the clouds and it brought a feeling of warmth and comfort to those seated in the main road just outside the Old British Cemetery in Kyrenia. The service of Remembrance was led by The Reverend Richard Frost of St Andrews Church, Kyrenia with hymns and prayers for her Majesty The Queen, for those who serve and for those who mourn.
There followed The Address and The Act of Remembrance and finally the Celebrant. This was followed by The Dissertation by Mr Keith Lloyd followed by the Last Post, The Silence, Reveille and finally The Kohima Epitaph was read by Mr Keith Lloyd.
There followed the laying of wreaths at the foot of the Cyprus memorial which was dedicated to the 371 British Servicemen who gave their lives during the Cyprus Emergency.
There then followed Prayers and the Hymn “O God Our Help” and then the Lord’s Prayer, the National Anthem and finally The Blessing.
With the end of the ceremony there was a gathering of many relatives and friends of those who gave their lives so they could remember them. At this point I was reminded of some of the other people buried here including military figures and in particular, that of Sergeant Samuel MacGaw of the Black Watch and holder of the Victoria Cross who was buried with four colleagues in this ancient cemetery in 1878 .
It is just over a year since the formation of the Royal British Legion, Kyrenia Branch in North Cyprus and this year their Branch Standard Bearer Kim Tyler had been invited to attend the Royal Albert Hall Remembrance event with the Branch Standard which was a huge honour and a sign of recognition in the UK of something good in North Cyprus. For your final enjoyment click here to see the the Royal Albert Hall Event in all its splendour.
The Union Flag was, therefore, carried by flag bearer Mick Bone at the Kyrenia Remembrance Day event. To give our readers a view of both last year and this year’s events we have used two sets of photographs in a slide show and it was nice to see that the weather this year was so much kinder.
To read more and hear the sound tracks of the splendid Royal British Leagion, Kyrenia Branch lunch that was held after this event click here
By Chris Elliott