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Commemoration Service for the 50th
Anniversary of Dunkirk 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, D.V.A. members and ladies auxiliary, this is the Hunter Valley branch of the Dunkirk Veterans Association. We are gathered here today for a service of remembrance. 50 years ago we were able to be rescued at Dunkirk by the sacrifice of our brothers in arms who stayed as a rearguard so that we could get away. Some of these men were made P.O.W.s. A lot made the supreme sacrifice and it is those that we wish to remember today. They died to give us the way of life we know today. The freedom we have today was won for us by our comrades. We think of every man and woman who died during that conflict for the peace we have had. We also give thanks for so many that came to our aid regardless of the dangers. We must try to ensure that our liberty is not given up after it was so dearly won. Let us mourn with pride but also remember with equal pride those who served and still live.

See that you hold fast the heritage we leave you. Teach your children that never in the coming years may their hearts fail or their hands grow weak.

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving:

We thank Thee O Father for all the effort being made by the nations of the world in seeking peace and better relations with each other. We praise Thee for the spirit in men and women which made them scorn the way of safety and venture all for the common cause of freedom and right. For all noble acts known and unknown, which we believe by the mercy of God will bring about the final conquest of the forces of evil which threaten the peace and security of the world.

 

Prayer for the Queen:

Almighty God, who rules over the Kingdoms of earth, vouchsafe to bless Thy servant, Queen Elizabeth, and be pleased to bestow upon her the blessings of Divine wisdom and grace, to be wisely directed in the life of this world.

 

Prayer for the Nation:

We beseech Thee, Almighty God, to watch over all those serving in the Armed Forces and those who still suffer disabilities and sickness or injuries sustained in war. Strengthen and encourage those who have been saddened by loss of loved ones, especially children deprived of a father's care and protection. Grant we pray Thee, that the same courage and resolution, the same comradeship and service shown in the last great struggle in which our country was involved may now be offered in the greater task of making a true and lasting peace.

 

To Commemorate the Fallen - Dunkirk Ribbon and Sand

O LOrd, who through the mouth of Thy prophet of old has declared that all souls are Thine. We thank Thee for the brave and faithful dead, who willingly laid down their lives on the battlefield in the war or succumbed to the perils of the deep or of the air, we bless Thee for the dauntless courage of defenders of our Commonwealth who have fallen in the cause of truth and righteousness. In Thy hands O Father, we leave their departed spirits. Grant us to follow their good example in faithfulness and endurance even unto death, that we may with them be found worthy of the crown of everlasting life.

 

"The Last Post"

 

"The Ode"

 

"Reveille"

 

Anthem - "God Save the Queen."

 

This service was put together for the 50th anniversary by A. J. (Jess) Matthews, Welfare Officer Hunter Valley Branch Dunkirk Veterans Association. This was their finest hour.

 

 

ABOVE: Photo of Arthur Matthews
taken about this time

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UPDATED: 25 December 2013

tracingourhistory.com 2013