Remembrance

How RAF Akrotiri Is Commemorating Armistice Day

The base is best known for its role in Op Shader and is marking Armistice Day with special events.

RAF Akrotiri is the Royal Air Force's busiest base conducting flying daily missions over Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Shader, the UK's contribution to fighting Daesh.

But away from the Operation, Remembrance and Armistice Day is being commemorated with special events.

At the base's primary school, children have been making poppies with soldiers. Each flower made will be used to form a centenary sign for Remembrance Sunday.

A pupil cutting their poppy.
A pupil cutting their poppy.

Teacher, Mary Keoghan, said: "[The children] have loved it.

"Their discussions about the themes, just the fun of taking part, and lots of pupils around the school have contributed."

She added that the pupil's work shows "young people are still considering the contribution made by the forces".

Parent soldiers helped with the task, giving the children the chance to find out more about the sacrifices of war.

A Remembrance Bench was crafted at the RAF Akrotiri workshop.
A Remembrance Bench was crafted at the RAF Akrotiri workshop.

Away from the playground and Sergeant Mick Jacobs is building his very own 'Remembrance Bench' which is being raffled off for charity.

"I think it's the same as anything we make, once it's varnished and painted,  then the 'wow-factor' comes out," he explained.

"Once I'd seen the finished product, I was proud of what the guys had done."

Remembrance activities are extending across the base and across all ages.

At Akrotiri's Early Years Learning Centre, the youngsters have also been making poppies and learning why it's used as a symbol of Remembrance.

At the nursery was Major Kelly Tait, who has helped organise Akrotiri's Remembrance events.

Major Tait visited the nursery as they learned about the Poppy.
Major Tait visited the nursery as they learned about the Poppy.

As well as a Poppy Day, there is a time capsule, a sponsored march to remember those who died in Afghanistan and this year there is a focus on the island’s involvement in the First World War. 

Major Tait, Officer Commanding for Joint Engineering and Communications Squadron, said: "Just below 6,000 individuals from Cyprus assisted the British troops in World War One and they played different roles.

"Hopefully, we can capture that history and present that in our Poppy Day celebrations."