Cyprus Police will be remembered
At the going down of the sun
By Chris Elliott
2014 is the 100th anniversary of the start of the first World War and on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month so many people of many nations will reflect on the horrors of those days and pay their respects for those that fell whilst serving their country.
Here in North Cyprus it is no different and we recently remembered the Turkish Peace Operation 40 years ago which was mounted by Turkey as a guarantor power that brought peace and an end to the inter-communal fighting although a political settlement still has not been found. In the months ahead preparations are being made for Remembrance Sunday on the 9th November 2014 when many people will gather outside the Old British Cemetery in Kyrenia to pay their respects to the 371 British Servicemen who lost their lives during the 1955 – 1959 Cyprus Emergency at the Cyprus Memorial which was erected here 5 years ago.
It is befitting that this year it is planned to erect a further memorial to the 11 British Police officers and others who lost their lives during the Cyprus Emergency and of whom not a lot has been written.
During the Cyprus Emergency some 1000 British Police Officers served in Cyprus under the name of The United Kingdom Police Unit to Cyprus (UKPU) and the names have been recorded in a very comprehensive book “Policing EOKA” by Richard Cowley. This book names the 11 British Police officers who lost their lives and the circumstances of their deaths plus the awards to so many other serving policemen at the time.
The total number of police officers killed during this period was 62 who will be commemorated on this memorial.
Turkish Cypriot – 25
Greek Cypriot – 17
British Cyprus police – 7
UK Police Unit – 11
Maronite – 1
Maltese – 1
Total – 62
In conjunction with the Cyprus Association of Retired Police Officers (CARPO) we are publishing below an appeal on behalf of the Police Roll of Honour Trust that asked for support:
Police Roll of Honour Trust News
“The Police Roll of Honour Trust are proud to be supporting the construction of a Police Memorial in Cyprus. We are helping the Cyprus Memorial Trust to publicise this fantastic project and hope to help them raise the required funding. We hope you can consider helping us and the Cyprus Memorial Trust.
The terms, EOKA, ENOSIS, General Grivas and Archbishop Makarios will resonate with many of you. They are a reminder of the problems of Cyprus during the last years of the British Administration of the island. Indeed they continued after the island had achieved independence and the continuing problems of that benighted island remain today.
The emergency first started in the mid 1950s against the British Colonial power by representatives of the Greek Cypriots who sought independence and unification with mainland Greece. As the emergency developed it was realised that in addition to the increase in the British military presence on the island, the colonial police needed to be augmented in its numbers. British Police officers, recruited from across the U.K., volunteered to serve on attachment to the island to assist the colonial police presence. This detachment was known as the United Kingdom Police Unit to Cyprus (UKPU). Some 1000 officers served on the island during the period, some for more than one period of attachment.
During the period eleven officers lost their lives while serving on the island, eight of whom died at the hands of the terrorists. The others died from accidents or natural causes. Of these most were buried on the island and a few were taken home for burial. The British military suffered much greater losses. The sacrifice of those in both the military and police remains part of forgotten British Colonial history. Those who died should not be forgotten but their sacrifice recognised on the island where they fell.
Over five years ago a small group of retired British military formed a small project team with the intention of erecting a memorial on the island dedicated to those who had fallen while serving the Crown. The first phase was to erect a memorial to the military personnel who fell during the crisis. This was achieved five years ago. The last phase is to erect a memorial to all of the police who served on the island whether British, Turkish or Greek who lost their lives during the emergency. The police memorial will be erected next to that of the military in the old British Cemetery in Kyrenia in northern (Turkish) Cyprus.
There will be many readers who have served as police on the island during the crisis who will wish to support this initiative to erect a memorial to fallen police.
We would hope that some would want to attend the ceremony of dedication on its opening which will be on Saturday 8th November between 4.30pm – 5.30pm. It would be great to see serving officers in uniform and retired officers at the ceremony. (note amended date)
As ever memorials such as these are not funded by the government but left to the initiative of individuals shamed by the indifference shown to the sacrifice made by those who have fallen. The estimated cost of the memorial is £15,000, which is a modest sum and is what is required to complete the memorial build.
The Police Roll of Honour Trust has been asked by the Cyprus Memorial Trust to take the lead in making a public appeal for monies in the U.K. and to advertise the forthcoming day of dedication in Cyprus in November. The Trust has the faith in serving and retired officers to achieve the financial target in the next six months so that the Memorial in Cyprus can be erected alongside that of the military.
We would ask that those wishing to make a donation to make cheques payable to the Police Roll of Honour Trust and marked on the reverse “Cyprus Appeal” together with their address or email details that we may acknowledge receipt if requested. To find out more about donating please click here.
Former colleagues and relatives wishing to attend the ceremony should make contact with the Trust by clicking here.
We would also be grateful to hear from members of the United Kingdom Police Unit Old Comrades Association.
Chairman, Police Roll of Honour Trust.”
Please read this interesting article in the London Police Pensioner magazine click here
To read more of the Cyprus Memorial please click here
With Thanks to CARPO, Vice Chairman, Mervyn Matthews for helping with the writing of this article including the publishing of the confirmed date and time for the ceremony of dedication.