Bermuda remembers its war dead

Remembrance Day ceremonies went ahead at the Cenotaph on Front Street on Saturday before a host of local dignitaries and hundreds of onlookers.


Remembrance Day ceremonies went ahead at the Cenotaph on Front Street on Saturday before a host of local dignitaries and hundreds of onlookers.

The ceremony was the first to be held without the personnel from the former US Navy or Royal Navy bases. However a small contingent of officers and other ranks from HMS Montrose , which was docked in Hamilton, joined the 72 veterans and other units on parade.

The Bermuda Regiment band and a platoon of soldiers were also on parade as well as the junior leaders, the Police cadets, Boys Brigade, the Sea Cadets and the North Village, Somerset Brigade and Salvation Army bands.

Governor Lord Waddington arrived promptly to lead the procession of dignitaries that included Deputy Premier Jerome Dill, Opposition Leader Frederick Wade and Chief Justice Mr. Justice Ward.

Lord Waddington then inspected the veterans and took his position at the front of the Cenotaph and a two-minute silence was observed at 11 a.m. in memory of the 80 Bermudians who died in the First World War and the 35 who lost their lives in the Second World War.

Lord Waddington then began the wreath-laying ceremony and was followed by the Deputy Premier, Mr. Wade, president of the Bermuda War Veterans Association Mr. Frank Farmer, Mayor of Hamilton the Rt Wor. William Boyle, Commanding Officer of the Bermuda Regiment Lt. Col David Burch, Chairman of the Defence Board Col. Michael Darling, Deputy Police Commissioner Mr. Michael Mylod, and Chief Fire Officer Mr. Reginald Rawlins.

For Sgt. Major Eugene Wade, 77, who was one of 104 Bermudians who joined the first Batallion Caribbean Regiment during the Second World War where they escorted prisoners of war, Saturday's parade marked 55 unbroken appearances.

"It makes me proud,'' he said of the Remembrance Day ceremonies. "It gives me a chance to express my feelings and pay homage to my fallen comrades.

"Remembrance Day gives me a feeling of pride to know that I have played a part in making the world a better place to live.'' There were 72 veterans on parade which is down from the 120 soldiers who have paraded in past years. Twelve Second World War veterans have passed away just this year.

Earlier in the day, at Albuoys Point, war veterans gathered before a stone sundial to honour the memory of the men of HMS Jervis Bay , a Second World War armed merchant ship which was sunk by the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer as it fought to save the convoy it was escorting.

On November 5, 1940, in the mid-Atlantic, Jervis Bay , which was under the orders of Captain E.F.S. Fegan, sank after being hit again and again with the loss of 89 crew members.

Archdeacon Thomas Dyson presided over the ceremony and the Royal Naval Association's standard was escorted by two sailors from HMS Montrose .

Bermuda War Veterans Association president Mr. Farmer, who lost two brothers during the Second World War, said: "Remembrance Day is a very solemn day for me. Once it's all over I cheer up a bit.''

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