The Children’s Hospital Trust celebrates its annual Day of Remembrance on Wednesday, 11 November, held to commemorate the World War II servicemen and veterans who donated two days of their pay towards what was to become the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
Their vision was to create a living memorial in honour of their fallen comrades and today, this world-class Hospital has become a cornerstone in paediatric healthcare on the African continent and continues to save the lives of more than a quarter million children each year. Next year, 2016, will mark the Hospital’s 60th year of caring for the many desperately ill and injured children it serves.
This special Remembrance Day has been held at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital every year since 2011. Each year it grows in size, with more people attending to lay wreaths and flowers on behalf of organisations, associations, regiments and in personal remembrance of departed loved ones.
It is always a moving and beautiful ceremony and this year it began with sentries of the Cape Town Rifles (Dukes) regiment, led by Sergeant Major Mike Cairns, taking up positions all around the memorial and the flag posts. The Cape Field Artillery Pipes and Drums, led by Drum Major Bill White, then marched around the memorial and past the marquee. The rousing sound of the pipes never fails to stir the emotions.
The focus of the ceremony is a bronze statue of Peter Pan at the Hospital’s main entrance, which was donated by Mr Vivien Watson – a World War 1 veteran who chaired the original Red Cross Hospital Building Committee. He erected it in memory of his four-year old son Peter, who succumbed to diphtheria in 1924. Peter’s sister, Clemmie Hannay-Robertson, is a dedicated Trust supporter and volunteer at the Hospital.
Moth Pledge: “They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, We will remember them.”
Click here to view some photos of the day