British Forces Brunei divers observe Remembrance Day

Aziz Idris

Ten divers from the British Forces Brunei observed Remembrance Day at two of Brunei’s World War II (WWII) wrecks: Australian Wreck and American Wreck recently.

The divers departed from Serasa Water Sports Complex on November 11 and travelled to the diving sites along with Poni Divers staff members.

A one minute silence was observed on the boat, and a wreath adorned with poppies was laid on the American Wreck.

Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have perished in the line of duty.

The common tradition includes a one minute silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (11am, November 11), as that marks the time (UK) when the armistice became effective.

ABOVE & BELOW: Ten divers from the British Forces Brunei in a group photo with Poni Divers Instructor Zafirah binti Morshidi; and a wreath adorned with poppies was laid on the American Wreck. PHOTOS: PONI DIVERS

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers from the British Forces Brunei Sgt Ash Ayling, who initiated the event stated, “As members of the British Army we take Remembrance Day very seriously.

It’s a day to reflect on friends that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. It’s also a way for us to remember those long before us. This was an opportunity to pull members from across the military community and see the effects of war in a different environment. We shared this experience with Poni divers and built on an already strong bond with the local community.”

The Australian Wreck is one of Brunei’s iconic WWII wrecks which saw its 75th anniversary last September. The American Wreck is only about 1.4km away from the Australian Wreck and is a classic World War II remnant with live artillery shells still found on deck.

Poni Divers Instructor Zafirah binti Morshidi, who led the dives sadi, “I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity as a local Bruneian woman to lead a team of military personnel from the British Forces Brunei on a dive expedition to commemorate Remembrance Day. This also strengthens the friendly relations between Brunei and other military forces.”