Chelsea pensioners join service at Ely to commemorate 70th anniversary of Fall of Singapore

A SMALL group of Chelsea pensioners joined a service in Ely Cathedral to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the fall of Singapore.

A SMALL group of Chelsea pensioners joined a service in Ely Cathedral to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the fall of Singapore.

More than 50 veterans, along with widows, families, supporters and civic dignitaries attended Sunday’s service.

As a tribute to the fallen, and in remembrance of thousands who were taken prisoner, about 30 colourful standards were carried into the cathedral, including standards from the Royal British Legion and other ex-service organisations.

The standard from the Far Eastern Prisoners of War Association was laid on the altar during the service.


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Ex-service personnel and civilians who witnessed the Japanese capture of Singapore came to Ely from all over the country for the service of remembrance and thanksgiving to mark the historic anniversary.

Pauline Simpson, chaplain and secretary of the National Far Eastern Prisoners of War Fellowship Welfare Association said: “It was an absolutely amazing day. I feel very proud that we managed to arrange this service.

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“It was the only national commemoration of the anniversary. They have been known for so long as the forgotten army and we feel we helped to put the record straight on Sunday.”

The service was presided over by the Acting Dean of Ely Cathedral, Canon David Pritchard, and a sermon was preached by the Bishop of Ely, the Right Rev Stephen Conway. Prayers were led by Pauline Simpson, a lay minister in the Norwich Diocese.

Also in attendance was the Mayor of Ely, Councillor John Yates; Jane Lewin-Smith, vice lord lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Jane Lewin-Smith; some Chelsea Pensioners and representatives of the military.

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