Remembrance Sunday And The Cross Of Sacrifice

Copy of letter sent by the Trust Chairman to the Gibraltar Chronicle. Story was run by the Chronicle on Friday 1st August 2014.

On the 28th of July this year we started the commemoration of the centenary of the start of the Great War(WW1). Many of us have lost ancestors in this terrible conflict, but even those that haven't feel a deep sense of respect for all those millions of lives lost and ruined by this tragic war.

On the Sunday closest to the 11th November(Armistice Day) Gibraltar too pays its respect to the fallen not only of this war but of subsequent conflicts. Traditionally Remembrance Sunday was observed at the Cross of Sacrifice at North Front. This granite cross and sword and its surrounding plaques bears witness to that great sacrifice. Similar monuments to the dead of the Great War and WW2 are scattered throughout the UK and the world, most having been erected in the early 1920s for this purpose.

In recent years the tradition of this commemoration has moved from the Cross of Sacrifice to the Gibraltar War Memorial on Line Wall Road.

The Gibraltar Heritage Trust believes that this ceremony should be returned to its original site. The reason for the original move was due to the infrastructural works on Devil's Tower Road. However, why has this commemoration not returned to the Cross of Sacrifice? Following enquiries the Trust understands that the Royal Gibraltar Police feels that the Cross of Sacrifice presents a logistical nightmare. The RGP feels that the security concerns, traffic management issues and the inconvenience caused to those that live in the area is too great problem to solve.

The Trust has consulted with the the Chief Minister, H.E. the Governor and representatives of the MOD. All would like to see Remembrance Sunday at the Cross Of Sacrifice despite some issues about security. The Gibraltar Tourist Board tells us that in November the average number of coaches on a Sunday is 4. The commercial side of the frontier would also be closed. This implies that at that time of the day on that day of the year vehicular traffic would be low.

The Trust hopes that by bringing this subject to public awareness the authorities will see a way round to bringing back Remembrance Sunday to its rightful home. A little logistical discomfort seems a small price to pay compared to the sacrifice of the lives lost during the Great War.

Unveiling of the Cross of Sacrifice War Memorial in 1922. This is thought to be the first ever cinema footage taken in Gibraltar.