Anzac Day commemorated with Don Rak War Graves service

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Once again members of the Royal British Legion Thailand attended the Anzac Day Commemoration Service at Don Rak War Graves in Kanchanaburi Province.

Vice Chairman Bob Mann with his escort of Australian students ready to lay the Branch Wreath at Anzac Day.

It’s not all parades though; our poppy team of Micky and Dawn Thomas along with Branch President Andy Barraclough set up the poppy shop, and on Monday evening we all visited the Loft restaurant alongside the River Kwai.

The main service on Tuesday commenced as usual with the march on of our Standard Bearer Richard Holmes, and enjoyed a great turnout once again. Our Branch Wreath was laid by Vice Chairman Bob Mann. It was nice this year to meet a group of Irish and Welsh Guards who are planning a major exercise in Thailand later in the year; more about that trip as it gets closer.

The poppy team raised a massive 40,000 baht for the poppy appeal.
Act of Remembrance at Chungkai: wreath layers Micky and Dawn Thomas, President Andy Barraclough and Standard Bearer Richard Holmes.
Veterans of the Death Railway return to their seats after laying a wreath on behalf of all POWs. Standard Bearer Richard Holmes waits for Last post.

After the main service we visited the second and smaller War Graves at Chungkai. I say smaller, yet Chungkai holds the graves of 1,426 Commonwealth and 313 Dutch graves, many of them known only to God.

Chungkai was the original hospital and base camp for the railway and is tucked away alongside the River Kwai. Whilst it certainly does not lack care from staff of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, it does lack a little in visitors, so we ensure that whenever we visit a wreath is laid. This year that was done by Micky and Dawn Thomas as Chairman Andy Barraclough read the Act of Remembrance and Richard Holmes lowered his standard in respect of those who are at peace there.

Many thanks to all who attended, especially our President Graham Macdonald, and big thank you to the poppy team who raised a massive 40,000 baht for the poppy appeal.

Old and new meet: veterans and serving members of the armed forces chat.
Novice monks visit the poppy shop.
Dinner over the River Kwai.