Forgotten Names Recalled: The Singapore Cenotaph Project

10/11/14

It's after midnight in Singapore but still Remembrance Sunday here in London where I am staying with my daughter. The difference between Remembrance Sunday here and in Singapore is  probably best illustrated in the three-minute walk from Balham Tube Station to my daughter's flat.
 
Every station on the London Tube has something similar. The station at Heathrow
Terminal 5 had a banner with the full text of the poem
In Flander's Fields
  This is the church where the sister of Richard Upton, on of our men, was married
  I have passed this church many times but only today noticed the war memorial
  A very simple tribute but effective
  This hairdresser's uses their window for displays throughout the year
including Hallowe'en and Christmas
 
There is also an Army Centre close by. This morning there were lots of people coming away from a Remembrance Service, some in uniform, in ex-servicemen berets and blazers. All of them were smiling.

This is all so very different from Northern Ireland, where I'm from and where Remembrance was  a sectarian issue. It was therefore good to see the Irish ambassador to the UK lay a wreath at the London Cenotaph for the first time. I'm glad to report that in Singapore the Irish ambassadors have laid wreaths at the Remembrance Service held at Kranji every year since the Embassy of Ireland opened there in 2001. Prior to that the Irish Honorary Consuls laid the wreaths. One of those was a friend, the late Fergus Healy, who served in the British Army in Burma in the Second World War, as did the former Irish Honorary Consul in Malaysia, Sir Peter Mooney.

 
Rosemary Lim