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National Memorial Arboretum – Cyprus Rock Memorial


Cyprus Rock Memorial

for the UK National Memorial Arboretum

 

By Margaret Sheard…..

We have recently learned of a wonderful memorial which is to be placed in the UK National Memorial Arboretum to those who lost their lives in the Cyprus Emergency which is to be a Cyprus Rock with an inscription on a plaque in the shape of the Island of Cyprus and a copper time capsule inserted in the rock with the names of those who died serving their country. The rock is being transported to the UK by the RAF which has shown great support for this project. They will be transporting it by sea rather than air, in their own marine transport, as it would have needed a special case making to hold it securely in a large transport aircraft. The RAF are even going to transport the rock by road in the UK all the way to the National Arboretum.

 The inscription on the plaque will read:-

IN HONOUR of the

BRITISH SERVICE PERSONNEL

who SERVED DURING the

‘CYPRUS EMERGENCY’

1955 – 1959  

and

IN MEMORY of the 371 WHO LOST THEIR LIVES

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

 

Memorial Rock

This project is the brainchild of David Littlemore who was very upset to discover that the Cyprus Emergency is the only “Active Service” posting in which British lives were lost and have no dedicated memorial to them at the National Memorial Arboretum. David decided single-handedly that he would endeavour to put this right and he has now been granted permission for a memorial to be placed at the Arboretum.

This is what David has said about his decision to honour those who died in the Cyprus Emergency.

In 1956 to1957 I served in the C in C’s protection team, living in tents in the grounds of his home, Wayne’s Keep House next to the cemetery, and the bugle and shots fired were heard on most days.   Cyprus Emergency casualties were the last to be buried in “some foreign field”.  After that time, with the exception of some killed in the Falklands, all the bodies of those killed have been flown back to the UK for burial.  So I thought it appropriate to honour the memory of those left behind in Cyprus by asking the RAF to fly the Cyprus Rock, on which we plan to place the Memorial Plaque, “home” to the UK.  Inside the “piece of Cyprus” will be placed a ‘copper’ (again I think ‘fitting’) Time Capsule containing all the names and details of their deaths on the Scroll of Honour. The RAF have been wonderfully helpful to this old Red Cap and I would like to say a big ”thank you” to them. I understand my CYPRUS ROCK is due to land in the UK in January 2016, just 60 years after I landed in Cyprus for my first time. I now go back every year to my holiday home and enjoy the sun, and most of my memories; but will never forget those who stayed there.

David is donating the engraved plaque for the Memorial Rock but there will be additional expenditure for a plinth for the Rock to be mounted on, placing it in the National Memorial Arboretum and of course the future upkeep of the memorial.

If there are any veterans or associations that would like to help with the funding of this wonderful gesture and project by David please make a donation on his GoFundMe account by clicking here

Contact can also be made with David by email at david.littlemore1@btinternet.com

David Littlemore

38 replies »

  1. This is the greatest news ever! A little piece of Cyprus back home in the UK.

    What could be a more fitting Memorial, the Guys that served in the period of 1955/59. now fading away fast but still a sizeable number left, so lets see what we can do support David not forgetting the Cyprus Authorities for allowing a piece of Cyprus to be ever be a part of Cyprus’s Memory in the UK.

    It’s means so much we can remember the Families loved ones at Home. A little piece of Cyprus that will be forever treasured. Bob Scott.

  2. Well done David a wonderful success story, you had been in contact with me but disappeared off the radar which was unfortunate as I was hoping to meet you for Remembrance Sunday at the Memorial in Kyrenia which was my fourth visit in as many years joining up with Margaret and Chris of Cyprus Scene who have done a terrific job for me to find a lot of the lads I served with during the dark days so I will now try to do my bit by notifying them all and hoping they may make a contribution to help you with your quest.

  3. What a wonderful thought a heartfelt thanks to David for all his efforts. Any idea where and when the ROCK will arrive in UK and please keep us all informed of it’s inauguration at the Arboretum. I will definitely like to attend.

  4. This is very good news, and will bring it to the attention of our Branch Members at Bristol.
    I am sure a lot of them will wish to attend the opening of the event at the National Arboretum.
    I personally served in Cyprus, with The Gloucestershire Regiment, now part of The Rifles, The Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment. I am in touch with a lot of soldiers who served in Cyprus, being the local secretary.

    • Thank you for your comment. We are keeping in touch with David and will bring up to date news of progress as soon as we receive it and of course the date for the unveiling of the Rock when it is finally placed at the National Memorial Arboretum. There have been many comments of support for this project.

      • As soon as you know a date or when it’s likely to happen, regarding the Arboretum, I would appreciate knowing as transport would have to be arranged. Regards.

      • We will be publishing a second article as soon as the Rock arrives in the UK and will advise the date for the actual unveiling as soon as we are aware of it. I think there will be many Cyprus veterans who would like to attend this ceremony.

  5. Hi Lawrence, Pleased to see you are getting behind David Littlemore! A gigantic task for one man to take on, past experience The Gloucestershire Regiment have been very good supporters of passed such projects, could you on behalf of David not to forget the none Computer users, “O” yes there still a number around.
    Bob Scott. Royal Berkshire Regiment.

  6. From
    Maurice Lane – Ex 2 Troop ‘B’ Squadron Royal Horse Guards. Thanks to David and all the others ‘involved’ in bringing back to the UK the ‘Cyprus Rock’ soon to be dedicated at the NMA as a memorial to the British Personnel who lost their lives during the ‘Cyprus Conflict’ 1955 – 1959 and all that will mean to ‘their’ families and the Cyprus Veterans of the ‘Conflict’ such as I.

    • Thank you for your comment. It was sent on to David and he has replied that such comments as this make it all worthwhile, so thank you.

  7. I am very pleased to find this site, I did my N S in the RAF 73 squadron Cyprus 1958/59 I have visited the Arboretum and was surprised to see how many souls were lost and would like be there when the stone is inaugurated, regards Brian Wilde Kendal

  8. I lost some great friends in Cyprus between 1956 and 1958. We were young and scared at that time. I am so grateful for the chance to see the ‘Cyprus Rock’ when it is situated in the Arboretum. Please keep me informed.
    John Paskin. (Royal Military Police.}

    • Thank you for your comment, which has been passed on to David Littlemore. I am sure he appreciates the wonderful comments and support he is getting.

  9. thank you davidand all concernedfor bringing THE CYORUS ROCK back to the uk as a memorial to all those that lost there lives and families in the 1955 1959 cyprus conflict bob taylor 6 TH RTR cyprus 1958

    • Thank you for your comment which I will pass on to David. There has been much interest in this project and it will be wonderful to eventually see this memorial in the National Memorial Arboretum to those who lost their lives in Cyprus.

  10. Please can you tell me if those servicemen who were bought home to be buried in England will be included in the time capsule, as my Uncle’s name was left off of the Kyrenia Memorial and the Arboretum. I have succeeded in having name put onto the Arboretum but it was much too costly to be included on the Kyrenia Memorial which I fully understand. My Uncle was sadly one of a few names that were left off. His name was William James Witt. RASC.

    • Thank you for your comment. As I understand it the 371 who died between April 1955 and April 1959 are the ones who are listed. You do not mention when your Uncle died so maybe it was outside these dates. I am sending your message to David Littlemore and he may be able to give you more information or you can contact him direct with your query on david.littlemore1@btinternet.com It seems there were quite a few names omitted from the memorial even though they died in Cyprus but outside of the dates specified by the UK authorities of the time.

      • Hallo, My Uncle’s name was William James Witt and he died on the 4th August 1956 in Paphos. His service number was 22972090 RASC attached to the Parachute Regiment.

        ________________________________

    • Hello Linda, I am sorry if you Uncles Name James Witt was left of the British Cyprus Memorial in the Garrison Cemetery Kyriena, as one of those who spent ten years plus and two attempts
      to achieve this Memorial, every attempt to find all entitled names was made by the late and most dedicated person David Carter, often spending 12. to 18. hrs a day, combing records from the different Regiments, Corps : RAF and the Navy, as well as the MOD. who records at the time were no always correct for what ever reason. David Carter counter checked; Treble checked to make as certain of all qualifying Names went on that Memorial.
      I far as I know very few Service Personnel were brought back to the UK. as all cost was born by the Families in the UK. I hope this answers some of your questions.
      Bob Scott. one of two committees.

  11. Hello Linda I served in Cyprus in 1955 to 1956 with the 1st Wiltshire Regt., my number is 23071313 I would like to know when the Rock is being inaugurated so that I can attend as I have to get there from Plymouth Devon , thank you fred ford

    • Thank you for your comment. There has been a huge amount of interest in the Cyprus Rock Memorial and as soon as we are aware of a definite date for the unveiling, we will be publishing this as an article on cyprusscene to give as much advance notice as possible. We are given to understand that it is possibly going to be in July, but I cannot confirm that definitely at this stage. I will keep a note of your email address and let you know when we are aware of the date, but perhaps you will also check our website from time to time. Regards, Margaret.

      • Dear Fred, Thanks for your Email, I’m hoping to be at the Dedication myself, possibly in July, awaiting confirmation. Hope to meet you there and ask if you knew my Uncle who died over there in 1956. Regards Linda

  12. Excellent memorial idea! Well done to all involved, we have informed a few friends of ours with links to serving in Cyprus in this period. Thank you on their behalf and to all those that cherish the past, so we can learn in the future. Iain

  13. my dad would be so very proud he was a GNR sadly he died in 2015 but we will both be at the memorial sun 21st . well done to all x

  14. Hi.my name is Charlie Andrews and I served from 1955 \57. If not for just getting a laptop I wouldn’t have heard of the project David is doing. What of those who dont have this asset. How do they keep informed? My number 23142982 RASC Episkopi. My lost mate was Brian Stedman.

  15. Hi, on behalf of my mum, Betty, older sister Mary-Jane and twin brother, Patrick, we would like to say thanks for all the hard work involved in getting this fitting tribute off the ground. A great memorial to the personnel who lost their lives in the conflict. My father was Corporal Patrick Joseph Hale, RAF Signals regiment died May 1956, unfortunately before my brother and I were born.

    • Thank you for your comment which has been sent on to David Littlemore. I found it very sad to hear your father died before you were born so a very fitting tribute to your father. He is listed in the Wayne’s Keep Cemetery Register and I will send the entry to you by email.

  16. hello all ,what a lovely idea,i will be attending the unveiling to remember my dad who was paddy hale,i have has the honour of visiting waynes keep a few times with my sister jo,it is so good that our brave service men and women and civilians are being remembered in this way and it gives us all the opportunity to have a place to go to to remember,
    i found out about this project via a phone call from les smith and victor(thankyou both)
    maryjane

    • Thank you for your comment. I have been in touch with your sister Jo so am aware of the circumstances of the loss of your father in Cyprus. I will pass your comment on to David Littlemore who got this project going and it is a wonderful gesture to give recognition of those who lost their lives in Cyprus during the 1955-59 Emergency.

  17. I would like to thank all concerned regarding this fine memorial. My uncle Derek Thornton was killed in Cyprus 8th January 1959. We will be going down to the service for the weekend and hope to hear from or meet anyone that knew Derek.

    Best wishes
    Jack Thornton

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