Remembrance Lunch at The Ship Inn
By Margaret Sheard
Following the Remembrance Service at The Old British Cemetery in Kyrenia on Sunday 9th November 2014, there was a lunch organised by the Royal British Legion Kyrenia Branch at The Ship Inn, Karaoğlanoğlu where about 170 people gathered together, including many ex-servicemen who had travelled from the UK, the members of the Police who had attended the unveiling of the memorial the previous day, and the 2 Chelsea Pensioners who had also made the long trip from the UK to be present.
We all had a nice lunch and thanks must be extended to the Ship Inn for their excellent service, a major task providing a 3-course meal for so many people, but as ever they did not fail us.
There was a buzz of conversation as people chatted to those around them and there were speeches by some of the special guests who had come for both the unveiling of the new memorial to the members of the British Cyprus Police who had lost their lives during the emergency and the Remembrance Service the following day.
There was one very sad note to the 2-day event which was the lack of representation from HM Government and also from the Greek Cypriot side for the unveiling ceremony on the 8th November, but the memorial now stands in the Old British Cemetery commemorating those members of the Cyprus Police, British, Greek, Maltese, Maronite and Turkish, who lost their lives during the period 1955-59. Congratulations to Sidney MacKay, the Chairman and Steve Lloyd, the Trust Manager of the Police Roll of Honour Trust who, despite many difficulties which they had to overcome, finally succeeded in raising funds and having the British Cyprus Police memorial placed in the Old British Cemetery, Kyrenia.
Following the lunch there was some entertainment from Anne Lloyd and friend who gave a brilliant rendition of wartime songs. This was then followed by many old favourites in a sing-along with the guests joining in and really getting into the spirit of the occasion.
I spotted Richard Chamberlain who had an exhibition of his photography and books and 2015 calendar on the outside terrace and many people were very interested to see the photographs Richard had taken during his national service days in Cyprus in 1955/56, many of which are now included in his 2 books, one from those times, and the latest one showing Then and Now.
The sun had set by the time we were leaving and it was nice to catch up with some familiar faces but the following day we had an early start for the RBL visit to Wayne’s Keep so another chance to talk to some of these very interesting people who have memories of Cyprus back in the 1950’s.
Congratulations to Major Brian Thomas BEM, Chairman of RBL for such a successful and well organised weekend of commemoration.