In the modern history of the BLP, today was the first gathering on New Year’s Day as far back as anyone can remember and it was surprising to see around 40 people attend what was expected to be a casual and short ceremony.
A brief ceremony took place and the subject of our Individual Remembrance was Guardsman Alexander MacLeod of the clan MacLeod.
Guardsman MacLeod of the 2nd Bn. Scots Guards died on the 1st January 1915, aged 28. He was the husband of Bridget MacLeod and is remembered on Le Touret Memorial, Richebourg-l’Avoué, in the Pas-de-Calais region of France.
Senior Standard Bearer Tom Milne carried the Union, Flag, Alan Lopez the BLP Standard. Mrs Ruth Moore sounded the Last Post and played the National Anthem. Peter Hills officiated over the ceremony. Eddie Jones paraded the Artist’s Rifles Standard.
We then retired to the Trench Experience for refreshments.
December saw two families join us to remember family members lost in conflict. Members of Private Delmyr Gee Gosper’s family and Private Henry George Munday family participated in the ceremony and wreaths were laid remembering both soldiers.
In attendance for the first time was representatives of the Belgian War Veteran Federation – UK Branch.
Private Gosper of the 36th Battalion – 9th Brigade Australian Imperial Forces was born in Meranburn, NSW, Australia in 1895. He was one of 12 children and was originally a farm labourer in the vast area to the west of the Blue Mountains.
He enlisted on 29th August 1916 and left Sydney on HMAT Wiltshire on 7th February 1917, arriving in the UK on 11th April. He was killed in action about six miles north east of Ypres along the Menin Road between Ypres and Passchendaele on 11th October 1917. Private Gosper has no known grave and is remembered on the Australian Roll of Honour, Menin Gate, Ypres.
Private Munday was killed in action on 31st March 1916 outside of Ypres. He was 27 years old and the father of four children. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate, Ypres.
Alan Lopez was our Standard bearer and Tom Milne paraded the Union Flag. Peter Hills performed chaplain duties and afterwards we retired to the Trench Experience to continue the stories.
Thank you to Alan Meeks and Tony McCallum for the photographs.
We had representatives of the Intelligence Corps and the Canadian Intelligence Corps join us today for a ceremony dedicated to the memory of members lost.
Our Individual Remembrance was Captain John Kenneth (“Ken”) Macalister, Intelligence Corps of the British Army. A Canadian national.
Captain Macalister was an agent of F (French) Section, Special Operations Executive (SOE). He was captured soon after parachuting into occupied France in 1943 and murdered at Buchenwald concentration camp, 12th September 1944.
He is listed on the Brookwood 1939-1945 Memorial, Panel 21 Column 1.
Alan Lopez paraded the BLP Standard and Tom Milne carried the Union Flag. We had further standards from the Intelligence Corps, the Artists Rifles, the Woking Royal Naval Association and the Royal British Legion, Knaphill, Bisley and West End Branch. Mrs Ruth Moore sounded the Last Post. Rev. Peter Hills performed chaplain duties.
This was the first ceremony where we sung God Save the King in over 70 years. Mrs Ruth Moore played the National Anthem and the audio from our performance was captured. It is included here for the historical change. We were on very good form.
Thank you to Mike Hillman for the photographs and Paul McCue for the Individual Remembrance text and photograph.
Thank you to Alan Meeks for the audio of God Save the King.