Pictured at the twenty-one Commonwealth War Graves at
Eglantine Parish Church are L to R: (back row)
Maurice Hanna (People’s Warden), Brian Fitzsimons
(Standard Bearer - 31 Group, Royal Observer Corps
Association), Paddy Malone, Wing Commander Harry Allen,
the Rector - Rev Canon William Bell, Flt Lt Roy Kerr (OC
817 Lisburn ATC), David Orr and Geoffrey Simpson
(Rector’s Warden). Included in the front row are
Cadets from 2004 Ballynahinch Squadron.
Pictured at the Remembrance Sunday Service at
Eglantine Parish Church is L to R: Roberta Cumins,
Robert Cumins, Rev Canon William Bell and Noel Adams
(Peoples’ Glebewarden). Robert Cumins, born in
January 1921, joined the RAF in June 1940 and trained as
a Flight Mechanic and worked as an Engine Fitter at
Sydenham, Maghaberry, Long Kesh and Nutts Corner.
After his squadron moved to York, Robert was sent to
North Africa where he was involved in the repair of
Spitfires at Blida, Algeria.
The Rector, the Rev Canon William Bell, conducted a
Remembrance Sunday Service at the Parish Church of All Saints’,
Eglantine. Followed the laying of wreaths, Flt Lt Roy Kerr
(OC 817 Lisburn ATC) read the names of those from the
congregation who laid down their lives during the First and
Second World War. In his address Canon Bell said that
there are some things we want to remember and some things we
want to forget. He explained that for many, remembering
can be a painful experience as they recall horrific scenes of
concentration camps, the blitz and air raids. He also
explained that remembering can be a fulfilling, refreshing and
uplifting time as we celebrate the gift of freedom and give
thanks for those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
He concluded by looking forward with faith and hope for the time
when men will “turn their spears into pruning hooks and learn
war no more”.
The Parish Church Choir led the worship and the organist was
Norma Bell. The congregational Hymns included: ‘O God our
help in ages past’, ‘Thine be the glory’, the Royal Air Force hymn
– ‘O ruler of the earth and sky’ and ‘God is our strength and
refuge’ (to the tune of the Dambusters March). The choir
sang the anthem, ‘God! As with silent hearts we bring to mind how
hate and war diminish humankind.’
Following the service the congregation gathered in the
graveyard behind the church where twenty-one Commonwealth Air
Force servicemen (from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and) killed
during the Second World War are buried. Flt Lt Roy Kerr (OC
817 Lisburn ATC) read the names of the twenty-one who died.
After the laying of wreaths and the placing of crosses at each
grave, a short service of remembrance was conducted by Canon Bell.