Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph (2017)

On Sunday, 12 November 2017, the City of Cape Town hosted their annual Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Heerengracht.

Before the Parade

When I arrived at the venue on Sunday morning, a large marquee with numerous rows of chairs had been set up in front of the Cenotaph, and the guard of honor were doing a final rehearsal of their march-on and march-off. In the distance, I could hear the Cape Field Artillery Pipes and Drums tuning up, with the wail of the pipes and the thumping of the drums echoing between the tall buildings of the city centre.

The men and women of the SA Navy Band in their brilliant whites were setting up their instruments behind the marquee. The new Director of Music of the Navy Band is Lieutenant Lindela Madikizela, who has taken over the baton from Commander Kenny Leibbrandt. On the other side of the road, the musicians of the SA Army Band Western Cape in their distinctive scarlet uniforms were warming up their instruments; they would be leading the troops on parade in a little while.

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Remembrance Day at the Red Cross Hospital (2017)

On Friday, 10 November 2017, the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (see the RCWMCH Facebook page) in Rondebosch held their annual Remembrance Day service. As in previous years, I went together with fellow photographer/writer Glynnis who is responsible for publishing the Pinelands Muse together with her husband Max.

This moving and beautiful ceremony is organised by the Children’s Hospital Trust, a non-profit public benefit organisation that was established as the fundraising arm of the Hospital. Charitable donations received from generous members of the public allow the Trust to upgrade the Hospital’s buildings and equipment and to develop its professional staff. The Trust prides itself on the fact that 100% of all donations actually goes to such improvements, with not a single cent being spent on administrative costs.

Each year, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, Remembrance Day services are held across the world, to mark the moment when German soldiers signed the Armistice Agreement that ended the Great War on 11 November 1918, after four years of continuous and terrible warfare. In 1919, King George V dedicated Remembrance Day to the memory of all those members of the armed forces who had been killed during World War I. It has since become a special memorial day to honour all those who have died in armed conflict around the world since the Great War of 1914-1918.

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