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Remembrance Sunday Ceremony

Tuesday 12th November 2019

FoSOC held their Remembrance Sunday Ceremony on 10th November at the Old Cemetery.
When both Val and Billy Ferguson arrived at 1.45 pm (which they had hope would be well before anyone, to set up chairs etc ) they were met by a very large crowd of people, (later a quick count and it was well over a hundred) because the Echo had said the Ceremony would be at 2.00 pm. At 2.30 pm. Joe Fagin (the piper) piped in the cadets Navy, Southampton Sea Cadets, Army, Hampshire & I.O.W and RAF from 1216 (Eastleigh) Squadron Air Training Corp, followed by the Mayor Cllr. Peter Baillie, his wife the Mayoress, Major Mike Humme (RBL), Alastair Goodall (CWGC) Mr Steuart Thompson (on behalf of the Belgian people) and Billy Ferguson (FoSOC Chairman).
The ceremony was led by Mr Graham Linecar and this year’s theme was the Belgian Soldiers. At the Cross of Sacrifice Graham Linecar commented it is the somewhat formal remembrance of those commemorated in this Cemetery who gave their lives in two world wars -- keeping the commitment 'Their name liveth for evermore'. Contact with these families from Belgium prompts a recognition that remembrance extends down through the years. We commemorate in the ceremony the individuals whose names are carved in memorials around us. Graham Linecar told of how during the year FoSOC had met a family in the old cemetery whose relation was one of the Belgian soldiers, Fran- Louis Van den Eynde, and whilst visiting they gave FoSOC information about him. Much later FoSOC was contacted by the grandson of another Belgian soldier called Maurice Salembier, who FoSOC was pleased to know was at this year’s Remembrance Ceremony.
‘The Exhortation’ was spoken by Major Mike Humme (RBL) followed by a minute’s silence, then the ‘Last Post’ was played by the bugler Neil Garvey. Next was the wreath laying ceremony followed once again by Neil Garvey playing ‘The Rouse’. ‘The Kohima Epitaph’ was spoken on behalf of FoSOC by Mr Steuart Thompson. The Mayor Cllr Peter Baillie spoke of the conflict of the two wars which ended with him laying a wreath at the FoSOC WW1 plaque. Finally, Graham thanked all those who had worked hard in the Old Cemetery for this year’s ceremony. Joe Fagin then piped all to the Belgian War Memorial Cross.
At the Belgian War Memorial Cross, led by Graham Linecar more wreaths and crosses were laid, especially at the graves of Fran-Louis Van Den Eynde and Maurice Salembier. Maurice Salembier grandson was asked by FoSOC to lay the wreath on behalf of the Belgian people. Both soldiers FoSOC was delighted to have been given photos which were placed on their graves.
Finally, with many thanks to all who came the ceremony ended on what was a very sunny afternoon.
Many thanks to Mr Derek Stewart for taking the photos.