The annual Remembrance Service was held at the War Graves in the Graveyard at St Joseph’s on Saturday 10th November. Father Neeson and parishioners were joined by the Air Cadets and Officers from Regent House School in Newtownards to remember the servicemen from Poland, Canada and England who lost their lives while stationed in the parish during World War II.
Father Neeson led the short prayer service and Joe Gilmore read a poem he wrote especially for the day to remember the servicemen. The Air Cadets then placed poppy crosses on the graves of the servicemen and this was followed by two minute’s silence. Two visitors from Poland also attended the ceremony and laid a wreath to remember their countrymen.
After the ceremony, everyone returned to the Old Schoolhouse for a very welcome hot cup of tea or coffee and refreshments.
We gather here today to remember to give thanks for the lives of those who died in World War II, in particular those buried here in the graveyard at Ballycran
We Do Remember You
You are not forgotten
You who rest here in peace.
In the bosom of Mount St Joseph’s
Where the storms of war must cease.
You made a stand for justice,
The tyrant to overthrow,
Like your comrades, from our shores
You sought to lay him low.
Some survived to reap reward
Amid many a tale of woe
But more were laid in an early grave
In God’s kingdom to live and grow.
Yourselves and your comrades graced our land
For a brief time in days of yore.
Billeted in Kirkistown, Ballyhalbert,
In Glastry and Ballycranmore.
Camp Chaplain Father Gus Teasdale
Shared the burdens you did bear
Far from your heartbroken families
Placing you in God’s loving care.
Pilot Officer McManus, Sergeant Willis too,
Lieutenant McCarry, we remember you.
Pilot Officer Tuczemski, Sergeant Kolek, we think of you
Flight Sergeant Grondowski of the Polish Forces crew.
In the nigh seventy years which have passed,
We did remember you.
Generations yet to come will surely also remember you
today, dear friends, in this hallowed spot,
We do remember you!
J J Gilmore 2012