WATCH: Honouring sacrifices on Remembrance Day

Sergeant Major, Paul Byrom instructs the procession during the march up Hardwick Street.

It was meant to be the War to End All Wars.

When guns along the Western Front fell silent on November 11, 1918, marking an end to the First World War, many were hopeful peace would follow.

Decades on, the phrase War to End All Wars is somewhat ironic.

Just 21 years after hostilities ceased with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, the Second World War again plunged the globe into chaos.

Since then, armed conflict has claimed millions of lives.

Honouring the selfless sacrifices of soldiers across time, a solemn group of Newcastillians marked Remembrance Day on November 12 at the iconic Armoury.

This coincided with memorial services and parades worldwide.

Old Bill for Monte Stanco Shellhole MOTH (Memorable Order of Tin Hats), Danie Fourie opened proceedings with a message of welcome.

ALSO READ: MOTH’s honour fallen soldiers of the past

He then handed over to Pastor Roelie Erasmus.

Ps. Erasmus gave a stirring sermon about how God was often associated with peace, which was a gift meant to be nurtured and appreciated.

He explained those who made peace, were said to be blessed.

Using South Africa as an example however, Ps. Erasmus said the question had to be asked if South Africa was truly a land of peace.

“Peace must be cared for and sought after otherwise we will end up in a country without it.”

Jan Kooyman gave a stirring speech on the historic roots of Remembrance Day, and how the date became universally recognised as honouring those who perished in conflict.

Thereafter, a procession moved from the Armoury to Hardwick Street Cemetery.

The procession included members of Third Newcastle Scouts, Freemasons, MOTH, Drakensberg Commandos, Ferrum High School’s Brass Band, members of the public and more.

A ‘war horse’ decorated with poppies also joined the procession.

Upon arriving at the cemetery, a bugler played The Last Post and signalled for the laying of wreaths and poppies upon the memorial tombstone of the Lych Gate.

The flags were lowered and the National Anthem sounded.

During the memorial, Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, David Down joined Fourie in unveiling a commemorative plaque at the Lych Gate.

He also handed over a flag on behalf of the city.

After a tour to the soldiers’ grave sites to lay more wreaths, the Remembrance Day proceedings drew to an emotional close.

 

 

  AUTHOR
Bruce Douglas
Journalist

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