December 9, 2023

By Margaret Sheard ….

The 2019 Royal British Legion, Kyrenia Branch, Remembrance Service was held on Sunday 10th November at the Old British Cemetery, Kyrenia, and once again it was a lovely sunny day for the well attended event.

This year 51 veterans came from the UK to pay their respects to their comrades who lost their lives during the Cyprus Emergency. In attendance was Air Chief Marshall Sir Michael Graydon GCB, CBE, President of RBL Kyrenia Branch, and we were also pleased to see representing the TRNC, Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kudret Özersay.

The service was conducted by The Reverend Michael Graham and started with the Bidding Prayers and hymn “I Vow To Thee My Country” followed by prayers, the Address, the Act of Remembrance, the Celebrant, the Exhortation by Major (ret’d) James Gibbs TD, the Last Post, the Silence, the Reveille and the Kohima Epitaph by Major James Gibbs.  

There then followed the wreath laying.  As there were many more wreaths to be laid this year, this was conducted in threes rather than twos as in past years. 

Following prayers and the hymn “O God Our Help”, the National Anthem and the Blessing, the people attending made their way home or to the Remembrance Lunch which was being held at The Ship Hotel in Karaoğlanoğlu.

Due to recent spinal surgery, Chris was not able to spend time in the cemetery to take photographs this year, so in addition to the few taken by him outside, thanks are given to Susie Forster for use of her photographs.

Bob Howard, oldest veteran
l-r : Sir Michael Graydon, Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, Major (ret’d) Brian Thomas

Following the service we spotted stonemason Keith Rackham, and had a brief chat with him.  We had spent some time with him at the National Memorial Arboretum prior to the unveiling of the Cyprus Memorial Rock on 21st August 2016.   Keith is the stonemason from Diss in Norfolk who built the British Cyprus memorial and also the Police memorial now housed in the Old British Cemetery, Kyrenia. He also worked on the Cyprus Memorial Rock, prior to its final resting place at the National Memorial Arboretum in the UK. 


Thank you to Major (ret’d) Brian Thomas who continues to organise the Remembrance event, and to the RBL Chairman, Dave Horsfall and committee members for their work in making this such a special occasion.

Following is a further selection of photographs, courtesy of Susie Forster, and a video filmed by Chris Elliott at the 2014 Remembrance Sunday service.



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