Due to the continued health situation in the UK, the January Last Post was an extremely small affair and the ceremony was cut to the absolute minimum to enable Brookwood Last Post members to pay their respects.
We remembered Donkeyman Saturnino Lopez Hernandez of the Mercantile Marine. A crew member aboard the S.S. “Euterpe” (Cardiff). On the 7th January 1916, the ship was either torpedoed or hit a mine in the North Sea off Hull and sunk. Aged 53, he is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
Our Standard Bearer was Alan Lopez and we also had in attendance Keith Tarling, representing the Woking Royal Navy Association and parading the association Standard.
We welcomed members of the Intelligence Corps to our low key December ceremony. With a year of cancelled opportunities, we were privileged to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of the Intelligence Corps.
All sections of Brookwood Scouts joined the ceremony with one of their Scouts performing Standard Bearer duties.
Colonel (retired) Nick Fox described the work of the Intelligence Corps and serving members laid a wreath.
We remembered four of the Corps personnel with no known grave whose names are on the Brookwood Memorial: Captain Clement Marc JUMEAU and Captain John Kenneth MACALISTER (a Canadian) of the Intelligence Corps and F Section, SOE; and Lieutenant Michael James CARTWRIGHT, (formerly COULOMB), and Major Philip Frank CHAMIER of the Intelligence Corps and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6).
The ceremony’s poem for the day, untitled, was scratched on the wall of her prison cell in Budapest by Hannah Szenes, shortly before she was executed:
One – two – three… eight feet long Two strides across, the rest is dark… Life is a fleeting question mark One – two – three… maybe another week. Or the next month may still find me here, But death, I feel is very near. I could have been 23 next July I gambled on what mattered most, the dice were cast. I lost.
Alan Lopez was our Standard bearer, Paul McCue read the poem and assisted with research, and Tony McCallum was the photographer.
For the previous five years, the November Last Post has had a significant number of Woking District Scouts in attendance. This year due to restrictions there were far fewer people in attendance, although many Woking groups and the 8th Bramshill group were in attendance. We also had some air Scouts and cadets join us.
Our Individual Remembrance remembered two Canadians who both died 80 years ago today.
Signalman Talbot Francis Papineau O’Neill of the 2nd Canadian Division Signals, Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. Son of John Alexander and Angelina O’Neill, of Ottawa, Canada. Great-grandson of the Hon. Louis Joseph Papineau. He died 1st November 1940 following a motorcycle accident while on active service, aged 19. He is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, plot 3, row P, grave 7.
Captain Victor Alexander Maclean MC of the Auxiliary Services, Canadian Army. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1915 and was a prisoner of war in Germany between April 1915 and December 1918. He rejoined the Canadian Army in 1939 and came to Britain in 1940. He was married with two children when he died on the 1st November 1940, aged 46 from unknown causes. He is buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery, plot 3, row P, grave 7.
Our poem was ‘In Flanders Fields’ by Colonel John McCrae.
The Exhortation and the Kohima Epitaph were read by members of the assembled youth groups.
For the first time since March, our Senior Standard Bearer, Tom Milne was parading the Union Flag. Our Standard bearer was Alan Lopez and the Last Post was sounded by Mrs Ruth Moore.