SBritish Ambassador, HE Asif
Ahmad, gives the reading.
Some of the bloodiest fighting of World War One took
place in the Flanders and Picardy regions of Belgium and Northern France,
and the poppy was the only thing which grew in the aftermath of the complete
For ninety years that red flower has been worn as a
symbol of remembrance for those who lost their lives, not just in the Great
War, but in all wars and conflicts since.
The Royal British Legion Chonburi branch held a Service
of Remembrance at St. Niklaus Church and on the eleventh hour of the
eleventh day of the eleventh month more than one hundred servicemen,
veterans, family of servicemen and women, students and dignitaries bowed
their head for two minutes of silence to remember those who have fallen.
Father Michael of the Father
Ray Foundation celebrates Mass.
Father Michael Picharn of the Father Ray Foundation
celebrated the Mass and delivered a sermon remembering the bravery of those
who gave their lives to ensure the freedom of others.
The British ambassador, His Excellency Asif Ahmad,
travelled from Bangkok to attend the service and gave the reading.
The lowering of the British
Afterwards, he told Pattaya Mail, “It really
brings it home when you see the young men who are currently serving in
Afghanistan giving the best years of their lives for our country… Last year
after the remembrance Sunday at the embassy I had a conversation with the
Royal British Legion and we together decided that we should change it a bit
and bring the message home to younger people. I think after today’s service
there can be no doubt in anybody’s mind that this about remembering those
who gave their lives, also for the number of veterans attending the service
and of course the younger generation so that they can see how important it
is to remember in this way.”
Other dignitaries attending included Gary Biesty,
Honorary Irish Consul, as well as representatives from the US Embassy and
the Thai, Australian and New Zealand military services, all of whom laid a
wreath of poppies to remember the dead. Business leaders also attended,
including Graham MacDonald, president of the Royal British Legion Thailand
and chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce, and John Anderson,
president of the Australian Chamber of Commerce.
Legion member George Barrie
addresses the congregation.
This year, 2011, is the ninetieth anniversary of when the
first poppies were worn as a sign of remembrance. The first poppy appeal in
1921 raised ฃ106,000 (more than thirty million pounds in today’s terms) and
this year it is hoped that the Royal British Legion will raise more than
forty million pounds to help support ex-service personnel and their
families. Support is given not just to those who fought in two World Wars,
but also in the many conflicts since 1945 and those still fighting today.
The Royal British Legion in Pattaya meets weekly at
Tropical Bert’s and more information can be found at
The British ambassador shares
a moment with the Australian Defense Attaché Capt Jonathan Dudley and the
New Zealand Defense Attaché Brett Fotheringham.
Graham Macdonald the
president of the Royal British Legion Thailand with standard bearer Richard
Holmes, the British Ambassador and Bert Elson.
Members of the American
military also attend the services.
Bert Elson, secretary &
welfare chairman of the Royal British legion Thailand, gives a heartfelt
The church is well attended
for this the second service of remembrance in Pattaya.
Currently serving in
Afghanistan Hughie Mackay from the 4th Scottish Regiment gets the
proceedings underway with the bagpipes.
The British ambassador is
joined by young Hughie Mackay, war veteran Brian Davidson, Colonel
Yutthachai, the Irish Consul Gary Biesty and a veteran from the foreign wars