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War veteran Cyril joins the march of Remembrance

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The Bishop leads the Remembrance Sunday prayers at Jamestown
The Bishop leads the Remembrance Sunday prayers at Jamestown

In Jamestown and on Horseguards Parade, the people of St Helena have paid their respects, once again, to the millions who served and fell in wartime.

In London, Cyril Brooks marched proudly alongside his fellow islanders on 10 November 2013 – Remembrance Sunday.

remembrance cyril brooks 250
Cyril Brooks served in World War Two

He left his island home at the age of 17 in 1944 to serve the last months of the Second World War in the Royal Navy, stationed at Simons Town in South Africa.

When hostilities ceased he remained in uniform. In 1947 he served on the cruiser HMS Nigeria as it escorted the Royal Family on an official tour.

The following year he left the Navy and then moved to the UK, where he became a founder member of the St Helena Association, serving on its committee for 50 years.

The traditional Remembrance Sunday Service at at the Cenotaph on Jamestown’s seafront was smaller, but no less dignified.

A large congregation gathered to pay their respects to those who had lost their lives fighting for their country.

The Governor's Deputy lays St Helena's official wreath
The Governor’s Deputy lays St Helena’s official wreath

Led by the Right Reverend Lord Bishop of St Helena, Dr Richard Fenwick, the commemoration began with the customary march of the island’s uniformed contingents from the Canister to the Cenotaph.

In the absence of Governor Mark Capes – who had sailed for Cape Town and Tristan da Cunha – the territory’s wreath was laid by his deputy, Owen O’Sullivan.

Official wreaths were then laid for the French Republic, the Royal Navy, the Army, the Royal Air Force, the Merchant Navy, the St Helena Police Force and the St Helena Fire and Rescue Service. Members of the public were then able to lay their own tributes.

The Service concluded with the traditional March Past outside the Supreme Court.

  • Four plants from St Helena were woven into the wreath laid at the Cenotaph in London by Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague: old-father-live-forever, boxwood, scrubwood and the St Helena ebony. The wreath is made at Kew Gardens each year with plants from the UK overseas territories. An identical wreath is laid in Kew’s own ceremony. Read more here.

Click on any thumbnail to see full-sized images of Remembrance Sunday 2013, courtesy of St Helena Government:

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