(St. Lucia News Online) — Saint Lucia on Sunday, Nov. 8 observed Remembrance Day in which those who their lives in the two World Wars were honoured, including Saint Lucians who fought.
Below is a statement from Prime Minister Allen Chastanet on this special day. It was posted on his official Facebook page.
Once again this year, on this second Sunday in November, the world honours and pays our respect to those who lost their lives defending our liberty in the two World Wars.
Last year’s observance was particularly nostalgic since it marked the 100th anniversary of that occasion, but every Remembrance Day is momentous as we remember the two times in world history when nations, with common purpose, stood together against oppression.
We in Saint Lucia have reason to proudly join this annual observance because of the roles played by our country in these conflicts. Many died in the two wars from among more than 400, including women, who volunteered for service in the British Army.
The United States had two military bases in Saint Lucia, one in Gros Islet and the other in Vieux Fort during the second world war, and one night in 1942 a German submarine entered the Castries harbour and torpedoed two ships moored there, killing 20 people including 16 West Indians.
Saint Lucians served in the British Air Force, the Royal Navy, the Merchant Navy and the Auxillary Territorial Service. Some like Karl LaCorbiniere, brothers Allan Bousquet and JMD Bousquet later served in the parliament of Saint Lucia. It is interesting to note that there were two other Bousquet brothers, Leo and Charles Bousquet, all from Soufriere, who served in World War II.
Over the years, the number of Saint Lucian war veterans still with us have understandably been diminishing. We are fortunate to still have some of these brave souls with us, reminding us of their courage and valour in the service and defence of their country and the world.
Unfortunately this year, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we are not able to have the traditional military parade and wreath-laying ceremony. But it gives us a special opportunity to ponder on the great sacrifice which they made to keep Saint Lucia and the rest of the world free, a freedom that we continue to enjoy to this day. Today I honour those who have passed away and all members of the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League.
Let us pay tribute to our war heroes and keep them and their families in our prayers.
Killed in Action:
D. Smith-Pilot Officer
H. T. Etienne-Flying Officer
H. Dulieu-Flight Sergeant
D. DuBoulay-Pilot Officer
J. Laurent-A. B. in Merchant Navy
C. M. Laurencien-Seaman
R. W. Daniel-Seaman
Died on Active Service:
D. Shingleton Smith-Pilot Officer
C. I. Gittens-Seaman
A. G. Augier-Seaman