The Royal British Legion Scotland
Kirkwall Branch - Orkney Isles

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Anzac Day 2018

After two consecutive years of bitterly cold weather, the annual Anzac Day commemoration in Kirkwall's St Olaf's Cemetery was blessed with bright, dry weather this morning. The small delegation from Kirkwall Royal British Legion and Orkney Royal Naval Association was joined by members of three Anzac families. Sue Carter from Melbourne made her second visit, his wife represented usual attender Greg Miller from Perth, Australia, while Hamish Guthrie from Stratford in New Zealand's North Island attended for the first time. Legion Chairman Eddy Ross read an account of the accidental death of Fleet Air Arm pilot Lieutenant Lonsdale Wiren of Lyall Bay, Wellington, New Zealand, on whose grave a wreath and memorial crosses were placed.

Lonsdale was the pilot of one of three Martlet fighter aircraft which left Hatston early on 4th June 1943 on a night flying exercise. When they flew into low cloud one aircraft managed to land safely at Skeabrae, but the other two crashed into the ground, killing the pilots. Lonsdale's aircraft crashed near Stymilders in Stenness, while that of Stanley Brett of Suffolk crashed into hillside at Huntsgarth in Harray. Both pilots are buried in St Olaf's Cemetery. Their sacrifice has not been forgotten here in Orkney.