"We Will Remember Them" - Remembrance Day

The First World War ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. In the desolation of Flanders Fields, where much of the fighting had taken place, practically the only thing which still grew by the end of the war was poppies. In 1919, King George V of England inaugurated a tradition of remembering all those who fell, on 11th November. The poppy was first worn as the symbol for this remembrance in 1921, and that tradition has expanded extensively since then. In many British and Commonwealth countries, church services are held on ‘Remembrance Sunday’ – the one closest to 11th November, to commemorate those fallen in battles in any wars. The US Veterans Day is similarly close.


As the Friends, we support all those South African service men and women who have gone before us, be they Navy, Army or Air Force, in The First and Second World Wars, the Border War, or any other conflict. This includes the historic SADF, the current SANDF and all servicemen and their families that we have touched in our lives; not just in the wars but also casualties caused in training situations. There were over a thousand fatalities in the Joint Air Training Scheme of World War Two in southern Africa alone. Much of the heroism comes from the wives, partners, families and friends.

On 4th November we had a wonderful chance to catch up with some of these heroes of our past with The Spitfire Restoration pilots’ reunion, which included pilots who had fought in World War Two. One touching item was a tray of over seventy poppy decorated cupcakes adorning the table.

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