Replies: 3 - Last Post: Nov 13, 2012 8:51 AM Last Post By: BP007
Nov 11, 2012 10:56 PM
As is my wont, I wore my poppy with pride during the month prior to Remembrance Day and attracted many glances and a few comments in both Thailand and Cambodia. It has proven interesting that, as the years pass, I am queried more and more by members of the Commonwealth as to what occasion is denoted by a Flanders Poppy perched on my chest, a sad reflection on the ignorance induced by politicians who dont give a damn if votes are not involved.
I had a problem this year. I always attempt to find a Commonwealth War Grave in which to pay my respects to fallen comrades and where I lay my faithful flower to rest; Cambodia boasts no such site. I attempted to elicit what arrangements were afoot at the British Embassy in Phnom Penh, for expats to honour the dead but they couldnt be bothered answering my requests.
At the appropriate hour on Sunday I braved the traffic on the old bridge that spans the Kampot River and, with motos dashing past mere inches from my back, held my personal ceremony before consigning this years poppy to the deep; a rather fitting tribute from an old matelot, I thought.
Nov 12, 2012 12:05 AM
Nov 12, 2012 12:28 AM
Nov 13, 2012 8:51 AM
3Last year I happened to be in Cyprus on Remembrance Day and drove to a small military cemetery I had previously spotted on the coast at Famagusta (Turkish side of Cyprus).
It was a cemetery dedicated to those who died in the 1963 Cyprus War between Turkey and Greece, so really had nothing to do with the Great War, but you know what they say, "any port in a storm".
I arrived just before dawn and there was a Turkish/Cypriot family preparing to lay a wreath and who were most surprised to see this lone foreigner rock up with his single poppy. As the sun rose the whole family (8 people) sang a song, laid their wreath and stood aside respectfully for me to place my poppy.
Then after almost being hugged to death, the family invited me to join them for a picnic breakfast in front of the main memorial. The children placed a special biscuit on each grave as we tucked into freshly baked bread, home made cheese, sausages, olives, Turkish coffee and wine.
And despite the fact I spoke not a word of Turkish and these lovely people didn't speak English, it was a remarkable and most memorable Remembrance Day.
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