Remembrance Day celebrated

The Cenotaph War Memorial in East London Picture: CAMERON KRETSCHMANN

The centenary of the end of World War 1 was commemorated on Sunday November 11 at the Cenotaph War Memorial in Oxford Street.

The Great War, as it was known at the time, lasted from July 28 1914 until November 11 1918 – the day on which the Allies signed an armistice with Germany at Compiègne, France.

Preceding the commemoration, Nancy Tietz held a talk about her travels in Europe on Saturday at the East London Museuem.

She has travelled to Belgium and France visiting memorials and monuments of the war.

A total of 54,896 Commonwealth missing soldiers’ names are on the walls of Menin Gate, in Belgium. The 4th South African Infantry Regiment 4th regiment infantry brigade plaque can be found there.

“Wreaths were laid there from various people visiting the area,” Tietz said.

Nancy Tietz Picture: AMANDA NANO

The effects of the war on the land are still evident today in places such Lochnager Crater in France.

“The are demarcation stones marking how the war came, trenches and craters are still evident today. Some are thought to still be dangerous,” she said.

It is estimated that nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a direct result of World War 1. Among those are an estimated 2,000 pipers, whose bagpipes fell silent while leading their regiments “over the top” of the trenches and into battle.

BATTLE’S O’ER: The East London Caledonian Society Pipe Band Picture: CAMERON KRETSCHMANN

To mark the centenary, the Piobaireachd Society and College of Piping, Scotland invited pipe bands worldwide to gather at a venue of their choice at 6am local time to play the same retreat march.

Soldiers that have fallen in all wars were also held in remembrance, with the SA National Defence Force in attendance.

Names of the fallen soldiers at the War Memorial in Oxford Street Picture: AMANDA NANO

Also marking the centennial Armistice Day, the East London Museum has a exhibition on display until the end of January 2019. – Additional reporting: Wendy Kretschmann

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