Dave Cunningham writes about the event organised to mark remembrance day in Uzumlu, Fethiye, Turkey.

I organised the remembrance day gathering at the Grape garden restaurant in the village Uzumlu. It was a resounding success. About forty or more people turned up.

There was a good display of regimental attire and medals on show. I got talking to one guy who was a retired veteran army commando, me being a retired Royal marine commando. It turned out we both served in Malta at the same time in the mid seventies. How spooky was that.

We were able to follow the events at the cenotaph leading up to the two minute silence.This was followed by a friend and myself reading out the rank and names of all the British service personnel who had lost their lives in conflict since last November. Fifty one in total.

I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place.

A mention was also made to the seventeen Turkish soldiers who had died in a helicopter crash only two days previously.

A big thank you to Mehmet, the owner of the restaurant, and all those who were able to attend.

As for the poppy appeal. I collected 1,009 TL, about £355-00. I would like to say a big thank you to the residents of Uzumlu.

Also, a big thank you to people from outside Uzumlu. In particular the two walking groups who ended up in Uzumlu for lunch, following one of their Sunday walks. They all dug deep and generously.

Also the residents who frequented the pancake stalls at the Saturday market during the three weeks leading up to remembrance day.

Last of all a big thank you to the Turkish citizens who, once they realised what it was about gave generously.

Dave C. Retired Royal Marine commando

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