Fifty six members, relatives and friends assembled at the National Memorial Arboretum on 4th August for the second Annual Memorial Service and Luncheon.
Light refreshments were served in ‘Aspects’, the newly opened air conditioned function suite at the Arboretum, before a trio of buglers sounded ‘Fall In’ at 11:40am, the signal to ‘muster’ at the memorial.
The service commenced shortly after 12 noon.
Glenn Seymour-Hall (9439) welcomed all and then handed over to the UK Branch Chaplain, Rev. Keith Lamb (7385) to conduct the service. Keith, wearing his Chaplain’s Regimental Scarf, started by quoting a saying ‘Where there’s a sacrifice, there’s a shrine’. He then went on to say the reason for this annual gathering of Remembrance was to pay tribute and give thanks for all members of the Regiment who had served and those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice in the world wars and most recently in the war against terrorism from 1967 – 1980 in the course of which some 406 members of all ranks gave their lives.
A wreath on behalf of all members of the BSAP Regimental Association was then laid by the President Alan Toms (7391) and then 13 crosses of remembrance were laid by relatives and colleagues.
The Act of Remembrance then followed. The buglers sounded Last Post, and following a two minute silence, Reveille.
Duncan Waugh (9790) gave the address. He spoke of tradition, the buzz word of the BSAP, not meaning that nothing new can be done but that what is done would not fall below the standard of conduct and courage handed down by that tradition. To that end he applauded the UK Branch for their efforts to forge new traditions such as this Annual Remembrance Parade, to keep and maintain the memory of our fine police force and the citizens it served and protected. Duncan spoke of courage not only of those who fought but of those who were wounded and still bear the scars both physical and mental from the conflict they endured. Those left behind who suffered loss, the children whose lives were disrupted are also to be considered casualties of the conflict of the times. All need to know they are not forgotten.
He paid tribute to those young men and women who only served a few months or a year in the BSAP before it became the Zimbabwe Republic Police and how they tried to continue to serve the country and population in the same spirit and traditions they had learned in the BSAP. Their task was not an easy one, calling for great courage at times to confront well armed, ill-disciplined and often intoxicated groups of so called combatants armed with AK rifles whilst driving a soft skinned B car armed only with a P1 pistol.
In closing he quoted from a documentary ‘Dying to have known’, summed up in the words
‘A life lived that matters is not out of circumstance but out of choice’ – We will remember.
The address was extremely well received and applauded.
(The full text will appear in due course in Outpost)
Following the blessing and dismissal all stood for the playing of Kum a Kye before returning to Aspects for lunch and the opening of the cash bar.
The Roll of Honour, normally in the Chapel at the Arboretum was on display during lunch and attracted much attention. In response to a number or requests the feasibility of providing further copies for sale will be considered.
The staff at the Arboretum are to be congratulated for their excellent organisation , the quality of catering and friendliness of the staff.
What was particularly pleasing was the number of new members from the ‘last generation’ of BSAP who attended. We hope they can spread the word that the Association is there to remember and preserve the heritage of the BSAP and ‘All who served’ thereby encouraging others to join and ensure the memory continues for long after the last one who served has passed on.
Next year will be the 40th anniversary of the BSAP flag being lowered for the last time at PGHQ., 1st August 1980. At midnight on that day and with no other official ceremony, that which was regarded by many as the finest police force in the world ceased to exist.
It will also be the 10th anniversary of the unveiling of the Memorial at the Last Parade at which the order was given “British South Africa Police – Dismiss” providing a symbolic and official end to the Force. It will be remembered and a provisional booking for next year’s service has been made for 2nd August 2020, pencil it in your diaries.
Those who signed in:
5075 Dick and Jenny Ray, 5358 Mick York, 5755 Stewart and Pam Edwards, 6449 Ted Crawford and 201399 Ros Crawford, 6737 Mike Coleman, 6905 Peter Phillips, 7050 John Willoughby , 7072 Terry Walmsley and Jan Walmsley, 7207 Arnold Woolley and 203679 Paula Woolley, 7211 Peter Biddulph, 7212 Tony Brown, 7385 Rev. Keith Lamb and Gillian Lamb, 7391 Alan Toms, 7784 Steve Acornley, 7893 Peter Harris, 8338 Mal Thurman and Roz Thurman, 8913 Edward Archdale, 9086 Tony Granger, 9120 Bayne Moore-Stevens and Alison Moore-Stevens, 9345 Jock Gemmell, 9375 Peter Arnold, 9439 Glenn Seymour-Hall and Jane Seymour-Hall, Amy Seymour-Hall, Lee Reynolds, Chris Reynolds, 9470 Rob Veronneau and Helen Veronneau, 9565 Jim Bowie, 9790 Duncan Waugh and Carol Waugh, Patricia Scott, 9933 Tom Steyl and Denise Patterson,10025 Warwick Langan and 532 Jean Langan, 10434 Andy Bijl, 10519 Paul Cooke and Jane Cooke (RAR), (4149) Judy Kerswell, (6349) Marj Eglington and David Eglington, (7456) Sue Easton, Doris Chipp, Paul Gaze, Terry Lee.
Apologies were received from: 5248 Alan Lane, 5662 Barry Henson, 7612 Gerry Rickson, Will Ransom RAA.