Burma Star

2021

The Members & Friends for The Burma Star Association VJ Day  

Dedication & Service of Remembrance 15th August 2021 by Malcolm Gibbons

A number of relatives, friends of the association, invited Civic Guests and ex-service associations all assembled around the Memorial area on Sunday evening in an act of Remembrance for VJ Day.

six number of standards were represented from The Men of Kent & Kentish Men, The Royal Marines Association The RAF Association Dover Branch , Dover White Cliffs RBL Branch, The Staffordshire Regiment Association and The Downs Branch RBL this was carried by Mr Bill Milnor from Hythe who volunteered to carry the standard, these were lined up opposite side to the memorial under the command of the Downs Branch RBL parade marshal Mr Julian de Zille.

The service was officiated by the Downs Branch RBL Padre Rev John Lines M B E, the service commenced with several poems read by Carol Brown, Pat Thomsett, and Lindsay Thacker.This was followed by the Bidding and prayers by the Padre and the saying of Lords Prayer. Jennie Gibbons than read the lesson, and finally the singing of the hymn O valiant hearts this was accompanied by the key board player Mr Chris Berriman Musical Director for Deal Brass Academy Band, it then concludes by the Padre’s dedication to The Burma Star Memorial Veterans, Janet Barkway then read The Act of Remembrance (The Farwell, from Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” .

The final part of the service concluded by the laying of wreaths and individual tributes were laid by some of the relatives, especially little Willow Granddaughter of the late Jim Bond.  This was followed by the reading out the roll of Honour of all the past members of the Branch and was read out in turn by relatives of past members and the secretary of the association. The Last Post was provided by Kent PA hire followed by one minute silence and playing of Reveille with reciting of the Exhortation by Chairman Mr Edward Barkway of the Downs Branch R B L, following the The Kohima Epitaph was then proudly given by Mr Ken Stoker a Veteran of the Burma Campaign.

The service finally closed by all singing the first verse of the National Anthem and blessing given by the Padre.

Everyone was invited to a reception and refreshments at the Royal Marines Club at Strand Walmer.

Report by : The Secretary & Friend for The Burma Star Association  Malcolm Gibbons

A few photographs from this years service kindly supplied by Bob Davies.

See many more at https://www.facebook.com/Royal-British-Legion-Downs-Branch-553666901369172/

See many more at https://www.facebook.com/Royal-British-Legion-Downs-Branch-553666901369172/

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2020

A short Covid service held at the Burma Star Memorial after the Service at Deal Hospital 8th Nov.

https://www.facebook.com/Royal-British-Legion-Downs-Branch-553666901369172/

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Saturday Lunchtime Page Turning’s STOPPED as of 7th November.

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Saturday Lunchtime Page Turning’s have now re-started, one of the first was the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day 15th August and the ceremony held at the memorial opposite the Deal Castle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VC24QttNoW8

Photographs kindly provided by Bob Davies

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It is with regret due to the current Corona Virus the Saturday Lunchtime Services at the Burma Star Chapel in Deal Castle are cancelled as of today 19th March until further notice.

PLEASE contact Malcolm Gibbons Branch Secretary m.j.gibbons@btinternet.com 01304 366231 for information.

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On Thursday 15th August, VJ Day, at the Burma Star Memorial in Deal Castle Paddock 9 Standards from local military ex service associations along with the Downs Branch and Deal Burma Star Branch Standards were proudly on parade to support this important service of remembrance and respect for the “Forgotten Army” still fighting in Burma whilst Victory in Europe was being celebrated in Britain. The Service was led by Rev Stephen Young, readings by Jennie Gibbons, Janet Barkway, Exhortation Edward Barkway and the Kohima Epitaph and Roll of Honour by Branch Chairman Peter Wood and relatives of some of the veterans. Music was provided by The Victory Wartime Band. A splendid buffet at the RMA was enjoyed by all attendees after the service.

Peter Wood Burma Star Branch Chairman lays his wreath.

Ken Thacker our very able photographer for the day, Thank You Ken! Lots more of Ken’s photo’s follow…                                                                                     

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Saturday 10th August was a rather special service as two descendants of two Burma Campaign men were remembered in the Book Of Remembrance. Dawn Hindes, Great Granddaughter of Sid Gibbons, read Sid’s name and Pat Thomsett read her Father’s name James David Thomsett known to us all as Jim!                                                                            Behind the Book Of Remembrance cabinet, Dawn Hindes in black & Poppy Scarf, Pat Thomsett in black and Carole Brown in pink, Carole’s Father’s name Ken Stamp is recorded elsewhere in the book.

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Below are details of a service being held at 11.00 on the 15th in Folkestone, if you intend going PLEASE contact Toni Brenchley on 01303 257946.

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Today 6th July we were delighted to welcome Simon Gregory to our regular lunch time page turning ceremony, Simon gave a moving account of his childhood memories and read a letter his Uncle had written to his wife in 1943, Simon’s fascinating story can be read in full in the July 1st edition of the East Kent Mercury page 23.

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At the regular Saturday noon service held in Deal Castle Chapel, 11th May, Andre from Belgium, a dear friend of Malcolm and Jennie Gibbons, joined with the “regulars” to pay homage to those members recorded in the Book Of Remembrance.

Jennie lead the service, the Reading by Janet Barkway, the Exaltation said by Bob Davies and the Kohima Epitaph said by Burma veteran and branch Chairman Peter Wood.

L-R Carol, Kathy, Sue, Lindsay, Jennie, Andre, Janet, Anny, Peter & Bob at the service and afterwards for refreshments in the RMA Club.

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 BURMA STAR SPECIAL VISIT

Nice Letter! Scroll to end of the feature!

Mr Roy Miller Member of Epsom Branch and recently appointed National Chairman of the Burma Star Association and Mr Idris Maldwyn Jones, Secretary of the South Eastern Area Committee were warmly welcomed at the Associations Chapel in Deal Castle. This short but meaningful service to read the names in the Book of Remembrance every Saturday at 12.00 noon was attended not only by the “regulars” including Ken Stoker Burma Veteran, but also by other visitors to swell the numbers to approx 30 in honour of this important occasion.

The service was led by Jennie Gibbons, Bible reading by Lindsay Thacker, Jack McNulty said the Exaltation and the Kohima Epitaph was said by Deal Branch President Peter Wood.

Invited guests were Town Mayor Nicholas Tomaszewski and his wife Muriel along with representatives from Dover White Cliffs Royal British Legion and Deal Men of Kent Association.

After the ceremony all retired to the RMA Club where a buffet provided by the Deal Branch of the Burma Star Association was enjoyed by us all, many happy memories were recalled, and some not so happy wartime experiences remembered.

Malcolm Gibbons warmly thanked everyone for coming and the RMA staff for the preparing the splendid buffet.

Malcolm then took Burma Veterans Roy Miller and Idris Maldwyn Jones along with Nick and Muriel for a guided tour of Deal Town Hall by Town Sargent Barry Finch including the Burma Star Memorial Plaque.

Malcolm thanked Ken and Lindsay’s Grandson Lewis for his generous donation to the Deal Branch Burma Star.

L – R Roy Miller, Peter Wood and Idris Maldwyn Jones.

L – R Ken Stoker,Jennie Gibbons, Roy Miller, Peter Wood, Malcolm Gibbons, Jack McNulty, Lindsay Thacker and Idris Maldwyn Jones.

Thanks to Janet Barkway for the photograph.

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2018

Annual Service 15th August held at the memorial opposite Deal Castle

Malcolm Gibbons welcomes us all.

Rev. John Lines MBE Downs Branch Padre leads the service.

Pat Thompsett reads “In Memoriam” written by Sgt Cyril Grimes in Burma 1944

Carol Brown reads “To My Son, Major C. F. Hoey, VC., MC.” written by Mary Hoey his Mother.

   

Jennie Gibbons reads The Lesson Ecclesiasticus 44 Vs 1 – 14

Act Of Remembrance. Janet Barkway reads “The Farewell” from Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress.

Ten Standards are Paraded

Burma Veteran Ken Stoker lays the Burma Star wreath.

Deal Town Mayor Cllr Nick Tomaszewski.

Downs Branch Vice Chairman John Elms.

Ken Stoker and Rick Ashbey.

Kerry Rubins. (Kerry’s Father constructed the memorial)

 

Parade Marshall Simon Leith (far right)

Victory Wartime Band.

Veteran Ken Stoker.

Burma Star Branch Chairman Peter Woods who earlier had the Roll Of Honour.

Peter said the Kohima Epitaph, see below.

 Many Thanks to Bob Davies (pictured) for his splendid photographs.

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This very touching tribute can be seen on the left just past the kennels on the road to Dover, drivers ask your passengers to look,NOT you!

Does the name mean anything to anyone?

edwarddeal@hotmail.co.uk

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Despite the freezing cold weather 15 stalwart supporters attended the Burma Star Chapel in Deal Castle to-day as some of them do weekly at the usual time of 12.00 noon on every Saturday.

Jennie Gibbons lead this poignant 10 minute service in respect of passed members and in  particular she remembered Sid Gibbons who passed away 12 months ago.

Janet Barkway gave the Bible reading,  Lindsay Thacker read the names from the Book of Remembrance, Burma Star Branch Chairman Peter Woods gave the Kohima  & Edward Barkway the Exhortation.

All members, friends and members of the public are very welcome to attend.

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2017

Gurkha Memorial Statue

 2nd Anniversary Service – Sunday 1st October 2017 at 11am

I am writing on behalf of Dhan Gurung, Chairman of the Gurkha Memorial Statue Trust, to invite you and as many RBL representatives as would like to come to join us for this Service. We also plan to outline the success of the GMF’s new project supporting rural schools in Nepal with IT Connectivity with local schools in Folkestone and those in need locally.

The statue was unveiled by Joanna Lumley OBE on the 4th October 2015. The programme is as follows:

10h30 VIPs arrive Church House in Sandgate Road next to the Garden of Remembrance

10h50 VIPS to Garden and seated

11h00 Ceremony starts

11h05 Bugler sounds Last Post, two minutes silence, Reveille, standards/flags raised

Prayers – Catholic Priest, Buddhist Priest, Hindu Regiment Priest

National Anthem

Wreath laying

11h30 Chairman Gurkha Memorial Fund & Memorial Fund update presentation

Military Wives Choir

11h55 Short speeches, Lord Lieutenant, MP, Col BG

12h20 Piper plays “Yo Nepali Sir Uchali”

12h30 Refreshments on site/end of proceedings

Further information from Edward @ edwarddeal@hotmail.co.uk

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