The Royal British Legion Scotland
Kirkwall Branch - Orkney Isles

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Anzac Day 2015

On a bright, but showery, centenary Anzac Day this year, a delegation from Kirkwall Royal British Legion with Australian Greg Miller visited St. Olaf's Cemetery. Branch President Bryan Taylor laid a wreath on the grave of one of the four New Zealand pilots buried there, then recited from Binyon's poem, "For the Fallen". To mark the centenary of Anzac Day, Branch Chairman Eddy Ross read out the names and units of the 6 British Army, 4 Australian Force and 5 New Zealand Force Orcadians who died in the 1915 Gallipoli campaign.

The grave was that of Lieutenant Thomas Noel Bush, RNZNVR of Wellington, who died aged 27. He was based at RNAS Twatt with 771 Fleet Requirements Unit Squadron, but on 5th December 1942 had come to Kirkwall to pick up a Sea Hurricane from Hatston workshops after repairs. Just minutes after take off the aircraft's engine was heard revving at high speed and the plane plunged from a height of about 600 feet into the Peedie Sea. Thomas Bush's body was recovered from the wreckage next day and he was buried with full military honours in St Olaf's Cemetery on 7th December. Thomas's brother, Charles Roy Bush, flew Hurricanes in Douglas Bader's 242 Squadron during the Battle of Britain and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Although Charles Bush survived World War 2, he was also killed in a flying accident in 1948.