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Ceylon World War 1 Dead

Ceylon World War 1 Dead

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Published by Anton Edema
More than 350 volunteers from Ceylon died in WW1
More than 350 volunteers from Ceylon died in WW1

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Anton Edema on Jan 02, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Remembering the World War 1 Dead & Wounded
.On November 11, 1918 cease fire agreed by the British &German forces to end the First World War. Since 1919 itwas called Armistice Day presently as Remembrance Day.Fallen & wounded are remembered with parades &religious ceremonies.70 million were mobilized for theWW1 & about 13 million died.First SriLankan contingent of Volunteers for active servicewent in the French ship named “Ville de la Ciotat”. It wassunk somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea by a Germansubmarine. 14 SriLankans died in the sinking on the 24
December 1915.First SriLankan to be killed in action in WW1 was Lt.GCBLoos (3
Worcester).He was a son of Mr.FC Loos , Memberof the Legislative Council.Governor Robert Chalmers’ son Lt. Robert Chalmers alsodied in action.49 Sri Lankans died in the WW1. 276 Britons fromSriLanka also died fighting at the front. Altogether 325from SriLanka sacrificed their lives.Lord MacCauley suggested that Poppy to be the “Flower of Sacrifice & remembrance”. Most of the fighting during theWW1 was in Flanders. Thousands of soldiers from bothsides died at the battles were buried in the Flanders. It is apart of Belgium, France & Netherlands. Lt.Col. JohnMacCrae a Canadian doctor wrote the famous poem “weshall not sleep” or “Flanders fields” in 3
May 1915 whileserving in the front soon after the battle at Ypres. He wasa Professor of Medicine at McGill University in Canada. Healso had served in the Boer war (South Africa) as a gunner.The poem was published in the “Punch” magazine in 8
December 1915.It read,
In Flanders fields the Poppies blow,Between the crosses, row on row,That mark our place: and in the sky 
The larks, still bravely singing fly,Scare heard amid the guns below,We are the dead short days ago,We lived, felt down saw sunset glow,Loved and were loved, and now we lie,In Flanders fieldsTake up our quarrel with the foe,To you from failing hands we throwThe torch be yours to hold it high,If ye break faith with us who die,We shall not sleep though Poppies grow,In Flanders’ fields.
Col McCrae was wounded & died in France. On eachRemembrance day The British Legion lays a wreath on hisgrave – a tribute to a great man whose thoughts werealways for others.During the WW1 in USA an American lady Miss MoiraMichael who was working in the YMCA wrote the reply &to keep the faith with those who died started wearing aPoppy. She started wearing the Poppy to keep the faith onthe 9
of November 1918 two days before the Armisticewas signed. Later she sold Poppies & initiated a fund forfamilies of soldiers killed in the war. Since then the RedPoppy was considered as the symbol of remembrance forthose who sacrificed their lives in Wars.Her reply was….We shall keep the faith by Moira Michael 
Oh you who sleep in Flanders fields,Sleep sweet - to rise a anew,We caught the torch you threw, And holding high we kept The faith with those who died,We cherish too, the Poppy Red,That grows on fields where valour led,
It seems to signal to the skies,That blood of Heroes never dies,But lends a luster to the red,Of the flower that blooms above the dead,In Flanders’ fields. And now the torch and Poppy Red,Wear in honour of our dead,Fear not that ye have died for naught,We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught In Flanders’ fields.
 Then a French Lady Madame Medici Guerin started makingPoppies with silk cloth & sold them to help French Warwidows in 1921.The British Legion formed in 1919 tofoster the interests of ex-servicemen & their dependents.Field Marshal Earl Haig who was the first president of theLegion adopted the Red Poppy as the emblem whichwould “honour the dead & help the living”. In EnglandPoppy day started in 11
November 1921.Red Poppy has been accepted as the Emblem of Remembrance & the day chosen for the wearing of theemblems was 11
November. These Poppies were made by disabled soldiers & sold inmany countries of the then British Empire. The moniescollected were sent to England to fund for the welfare of the War veterans. Since 1983 the monies collected fromthe sale of Poppies are being used to fund the old
disabled soldiers of ours & to help the families whosemembers died in the ethnic war. The ‘two minutes silence was instituted as part of themain commemorative ceremony at the Cenotaph inLondon on 11
November 1919.This was proposed by anAustralian journalist named Edward Honey.Roll of Honour World War 1 (SriLanka)WPde Alwis

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Julian Bartholomeusz volunteered and joined the French Foreign Legion in WW1.
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