By Margaret Sheard ….
It is almost 6 years since I wrote my first article, in conjunction with Derek Chilvers, about the memories of British national servicemen who served time in Cyprus during the Cyprus Emergency 1956 – 1959.Since then I have kept in touch and followed the get-togethers of the Suffolk Regiment veterans who still meet up after all these years as well as meeting a few of them when they come to Cyprus in November each year for the Remembrance service in Kyrenia.
Derek and one of his old national service buddies, Chris Veness, started to arrange the Suffolk Regiment reunions in the UK in 2014, a couple of times a year, and the number of old friends has increased steadily, although there have been those who have now passed away, including Chris Veness in January 2016, who was a very popular member of the group, a Cyprus veteran and a veteran rock’n’roll performer. Since then Derek has continued to arrange the reunions on his own.
The first reunion for 2019 will be on Sunday 14th April starting at 12noon at the Rushbrooke Arms, Sicklesmere, Bury St Edmunds. So far some of those attending will be Noel and Barbara King, Brian and Jacqui Stock, Spike and Jean Spinks, Wally and Wendy Sherwood, Terry Covell, Brian and Pat Webber and Rosie (Chris Veness’s partner who makes a long journey to be there on his behalf with his old comrades). This year there will be a very warm welcome to George and Valerie White, George is the latest 7 platoon member to turn up and he contacted Derek through a little article in the Yours Magazine.
To date Derek is now in contact with thirty three of the Suffolk Regiment lads, eight of them being from 7 Platoon but sadly due to age and illness some of them are unable to turn up at the reunions or Minden Day but he tries to keep in touch with them all. He is very appreciative of the help he receives from his neighbours, Christine and Peter, his daughter Kim and also Rosie.
If there are any ex-servicemen who served with 7 platoon of the Suffolk Regiment in Cyprus 1958/59 who would like to meet up with their old friends please contact Derek Chilvers on firstname.lastname@example.org He would love to hear from you.