Remembrance Sunday in North Cyprus
8th November 2015
at The Old British Cemetery, Kyrenia
By Margaret Sheard…..
It was a reasonably warm day with sunshine for the annual Remembrance Sunday held at the Old British Cemetery in Kyrenia on 8th November and a very large number of people attended to pay their respects for those who lost their lives in the service of their country.
John Hughes-Wilson gave a resumé of the casualties of the many wars and conflicts which have occurred over the years, with particular reference to those who lost their lives during the Cyprus Emergency and are shown on the Memorial within the Cemetery and of those who are buried at Wayne’s Keep in the Buffer Zone. He also referred to the members of the British Cyprus Police and the memorial which was unveiled in the Old British Cemetery in 2014 commemorating the British, Turkish Cypriot, Greek Cypriot, Maltese and Maronite policemen who also lost their lives during the Cyprus Emergency.
The Standard Bearers, Kim Tyler and Mick Bone were joined this year by Patti Foch-Gatrell who had the honour of carrying the British Cyprus Police Standard. Patti looked so smart and she carried out the duty of Standard Bearer for the Police so well, especially as it was the first time for her, she must have felt very proud. Patti’s father Det/Sgt 1862 Samuel Middler served with the Cyprus Police from 1956 to 1957 and Patti has written a wonderful story about her early life in Cyprus and her father’s memoirs. To read this story click here
The service was conducted by The Rt. Reverend Michael Lewis, the Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf and The Reverend Wendy Hough. There then followed The Last Post played by Paul Shaw, the Silence and the Reveille and The Kohima Epitaph was given by Mr Brian Worthy, a Cyprus Emergency Veteran. The wreath laying took place and this year there were 40 wreaths laid at the foot of the monument. Following the wreath laying there was the unveiling of a Cemetery Bench which had been donated by the Royal Horse Guards Cyprus Veterans and the Dedication of the Cyprus Police Standard donated by The Police Roll of Honour Trust. There then followed prayers, a hymn, the National Anthem and The Blessing.
This is always a very poignant service and is attended by many veterans who make the journey from the UK every year to pay their respects to their fellow countrymen who lost their lives in Cyprus.
The Remembrance Service was followed by a lunch at The Ship Inn., Karaoğlanoğlu who provide a very nice lunch for a very large number of people.
Major Brian Thomas BEM welcomed everyone and gave thanks to various people, including the Trumpeter, Paul Shaw, who had played the Last Post and Reveille, to the owner of The Ship Inn, to Jarra Brown and his book “46 Miles” and to Patti Foch-Gatrell who had carried the British Cyprus Police Standard and had never done it before. Brian also referred to the two intrepid walkers Gary Abbott and Graham Inglis who had hiked from the Karpaz to Sadrazamkoy for their charity – Help for Heroes and he had hoped they would be able to be present but having only just completed their long trek they were obviously very tired. A sculpture which had been donated to Gary and Graham by IronMan Arts was auctioned at the Poppy Ball and a bid for 1,000TL had been accepted. The lady who made the successful bid has in fact donated the sculpture to Royal British Legion, Kyrenia Branch, which they very much appreciate.
One of the veterans, Roger Handley, makes a donation to RBL of a banner and he again presented a beautiful banner, in addition to another for the Help for Heroes charity. Both of the banners were beautifully made.
The lunch was followed by the usual sing-along of the old wartime favourites with everyone joining in and then it was time for everyone to make their way home or for the veterans back to their hotels.