Remember survivors, say veterans

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 November, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 November, 1995, 12:00am

THE traditional memorial service for Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph in Central took on added meaning yesterday as war veterans demanded the remembrance of the living in addition to the dead.

The veterans, led by long-time campaigner Jack Edwards, the chairman of the Royal British Legion in Hong Kong, accused the British Government of 'major hypocrisy' for not granting right of abode in Britain to the veterans' widows.

Mr Edwards said Britain was afraid to give way to the demands of the 29 war widows in Hong Kong, fearing a concession would trigger similar demands for full British passports from the territory's ethnic minorities.

'This small group has a special case because their husbands died for Great Britain, and because the husbands who were left were either wounded or suffered for three years and eight months in a prison camp.

'I call upon [Prime Minister] John Major to end this disgrace,' Mr Edwards said.

He said Governor Chris Patten had promised his full support and both Executive Councillor Jimmy McGregor and legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing - who stood with the war veterans during the service - had also pledged their support.

Yesterday's ceremony celebrated Armistice Day, which marked the end of World War I on November 11, 1918.

Mr Patten, who had missed the service in the past two years, laid a wreath at the Cenotaph along with the war veterans and other officials.