Centenary of WW1 in North

Cyprus

By Margaret Sheard

On Monday, 4th August it will be 100 years since the outbreak of World War 1, the date that Great Britain officially entered the war.   So many RBLlost their lives in WW1 and I would think there are not many expatriates who did not lose a relative in this dreadful war.

The Royal British Legion, Kyrenia Branch have made arrangements to commemorate the centenary and following is the information which has been received from RBL.

“Branch Chairman Brian Thomas explained: “We are now able to reveal our plans for this momentous occasion which is three pronged; firstly, to quote the Bishop of Dover “For the centenary of WW1 we are encouraging all parishes to welcome people into their churches on the 4 August to come together and pray and reflect on the war” and to this end we will be holding a commemoration service at St. Andrew’s Church in Girne between 10.30 – 11.30am conducted by our Branch Chaplain Reverend Wendy Hough. WW1This will be followed by coffee in the church hall until noon, and then we will move to the Ship Inn in Karaoğlanoğlu for a two course lunch between 12.30 – 1.30pm. To round off the day, lunch will be followed by a talk by Colonel John Hughes-Wilson on his latest book ‘The Imperial War Museum’s History of the First World War’.

He continued: ‘The Branch Standards will be on parade in the church and we are encouraging all attending members and guests to wear their berets, medals and Corps/Regimental ties with pride in order to add solemnity to the occasion. In addition we will joining other RBL SoldiersBranches around the globe by conducting, within the commemoration service, a national moment of reflection by participating in the ‘Lights Out – One million candles to remember campaign’ leaving just a single candle lit in church to commemorate those words spoken by Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary in August 1914: ‘The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime’.

The cost of the lunch is 35TL and bookings can be made through our Branch secretary Anne Lloyd on 0533 841 8306. All three events are open to non-members as well as RBL members and the cut-off date is 30 July.”

War is so senseless but what of the aftermath?  Eventually in most cases enemies become friends through the generations.  I think of the lovely words written by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk relating to the Gallipoli Campaign in 1915  :

“Those heroes that shed their blood
and lost their lives,
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore rest in Peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side
Here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers,
who sent their sons from far away countries,
wipe away your tears,
Your sons are now lying in our bosom
And are in peace.
After having lost their lives on this land they have
become our sons as well,”

Ataturk 1934