The British Cyprus Police Were
At The Setting Of The Sun
By Chris Elliott
For some months now there has been the occasional mention in the press and media of plans to place a memorial in the old British Cemetery in Kyrenia to commemorate the 62 British, Turkish Cypriot, Greek, Maltese and Maronite policemen who lost the lives during the Cyprus Emergency and to this day, were not officially recognised.
On Saturday 8th November 2014 at 4.30pm as the warm sun over Kyrenia prepared to settle in the west, part of the road outside this old cemetery had been closed and chairs placed in the road so that the many people who had gathered could take part in the ceremony of the unveiling of the memorial to the British Cyprus Police.
The Ceremony started with the parading by standard bearers of the National Standard into the cemetery followed by the Royal British Legion Kyrenia Branch, Metropolitan Police, and Cyprus Police where they were presented in front of the Cyprus Memorial commemorating the 371 British Servicemen who also lost their lives serving their country but until this day also receive no official recognition for their service and loss.
In front of this memorial was a Royal Marine Bugler flanked by two Chelsea Pensioners from the Royal Chelsea Hospital, both of whom as young Paras, had spent a short period in Cyprus.
The service started with the Bidding prayers by The Reverend Wendy Hough, KKTC Müftüsü and the Metropolitan of Kyrenia Bishop followed by an address by Sir Hugh Orde OBE QPM and Patron of the Police Roll of Honour Trust.
The service was conducted in both English and Turkish but sadly as no Greek representatives of the Greek fallen were there, the planned Greek translation did not take place.
There followed the unveiling of the British Cyprus Police Memorial followed by its blessing by the Reverend Canon David Wilbraham and Reverend Wendy Hough and then followed by The Act of Remembrance Exhortation .
They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old
age shall not weary them nor the years condemn,
at the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
The last post was played by the bugler followed by two minutes silence and then reveille was played.
With the ceremony coming to an end a scripture from Romans 8 was read by Canon David Wilbraham and a Memorial Bench was unveiled by Mrs Patricia Mackay and finally the Policemans Prayer was read by Mr Sidney Mackay the Chairman of the Police Roll of Honour Trust followed by the National Anthem and Blessing
So at last those 62 brave policemen who served their countries and lost their lives following the start of the Cyprus Emergency when EOKA created murder and mayhem in the 1950s have been remembered but sadly not by HM Government or by Greek Cypriots who to their eternal shame declined the invitation to attend this Act of Remembrance.
Considering all those that have lost their lives because of the Cyprus problem, the prospects of a Cyprus settlement seem even further away whilst there is this attitude of non-reconciliation or recognition by those who being involved, do not want to Remember Them!