WOBU - Wynberg Old Boys Union - Our Heritage

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WWI - Our role in the '2 Minute Silence

Wynberg represented at unveiling of plaque commemorating an "Honourable International Tradition" - May 2008.

Silence is golden. There is no better way to show respect and remembrance than a moment of silence, and what could be more worthy of commemoration than the bravery of the many young men who gave up their lives in the foreign fields of Europe for their country in the First World War? This is the idea of the two minutes silence observed internationally to remember the fallen of World War One.

This respected military tradition was started in Cape Town by Mr R. R. Brydon, who knew from personal experience the destructive effects of World War One, as his own son, a Wynberg Old Boy, went off to fight in the War.

The idea was suggested to King George V, who decided to initiate a two minutes silence to remember the fallen throughout the British Empire. Thus was a respected and honourable international tradition started, which is upheld to this day.

On the 14th May 2008, a memorial service was held at Lion's Battery on Signal Hill to commemorate this auspicious event. Wynberg was deeply honoured to be represented at this service by Mr Richardson, Mr ('Plug')Louw and Edmund Rodseth. The service started with a prayer for peace, followed by an address by the Admiral of the Fleet of the South African Navy, who unveiled a plaque commemorating the tradition of the two minutes silence. The last post and reveille then rang out over the silent crowd as they paid their respects to the many young men who gave up their lives in the Great War. The event ended off with the firing of the noonday gun, while the crowd of dignitaries, including the Deputy Mayor of Cape Town, Mr Grant Haskins (himself a Wynberg Old Boy), looked on.

It was also a privilege to meet Colonel Lionel Crook who is well known at Wynberg as the schoolboy who many years ago painted the "Welcome Back" painting to Old Boys returning from the Second World War. This painting now hangs proudly in the Bill Bowden Pavilion.

It was truly a unique day, tinged with sadness and respect for those who had fallen. The endless chain on Wynberg brothers was once again proved to be a strong one indeed, as a Wynberg man who marched off to war over 90 years ago was commemorated by his present day Wynberg brothers.

The text of the plaque reads: "Commemoration of an Honourable Tradition"

When this noonday gun was fired from the Lion Battery, Signal Hill on the 14th May 1918 during the First World War, it brought Cape Town to a dead stop for a two-minute silence.

One minute in 'Remembrance' of those who died for their cause. One minute in 'Gratitude' for survivors.

The idea was initiated by Mr R. R. Brydon and the Mayor of Cape Town, Sir Harry Hands. Sir Percy Fitzpatrick submitted the suggestion to King George V.

The two-minute silence has been observed internationally since 1919 on 11 November and Remembrance Sunday at 11H00.

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Union Officials:

Union Business Manager
Hugh Rowles
Tel: 021 797 2101
Email: hrowles@wbhs.org.za

Manager Bill Bowden Pavilion
Glenda Martindale
Tel: 021 797 2100
Email: gmartindale@wbhs.org.za