Posts Tagged ‘remembrance’

1914 – 2014

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Today is Remembrance Day – the day when we remember those who lost their lives in past and current wars.

It’s now one hundred years ago that a generation of young men was wiped out in WW1.

When I was young it was very common for people to have several maiden aunts, the young women whose fianc├ęs didn’t come back and who never got married. There just weren’t enough young men to go around. They were lying under gravestones in France and other places.

11th November

Known Unto God

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

“When you go home,
Tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow,
We gave our today.”

The Kohima Epitaph

Two years ago when I was travelling through France, I came across the World War I Cemetery at Flesquieres in Northern France. It was very moving walking along the rows of white gravestones with their engraved names. Every now and then there was one without a name – an unknown soldier. These gravestones had the engraving ‘Known Unto God’

World War I ended at 11.00am on 11th November 1918, so today is the 90th Anniversary of the Armistice. At the special Remembrance Service held in London today, there were three veterans of that war. They are aged 108, 110 and 112. All three of them assisted in laying wreaths at the Cenotaph.

For another photo and more information about the World War I Cemetery at Flesquieres see They shall not grow old…..

They shall not grow old…

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

I’ve had a very unusual morning.

I decided to go along to the local Remembrance Service which was held firstly in the local church, and then at the War Memorial across the road. During the service at the church, the poppy wreaths were to be placed near the plaque in the church where the names of the soldiers who died in the two World Wars were listed.

The Chairman of the local Royal Britsih Legion group placed their wreath, and then it was the turn of the Chairman of the Parish Council. I watched and waited, but he didn’t move forward to place the wreath. Then suddenly he collapsed and fell to the floor. Fortunately the British Legion man who was standing next to him was able to steady him as he fell. After a few minutes, he came round and was helped to a seat.

I went over to speak to him and, as I was the only other member of the Parish Council present, he handed me the key to the flagpole and said that I would have to lay the wreath at the War Memorial! He didn’t look at all well, and was helped out to be taken home.

Well, I’ve never done anything like that before, but with the help and support of the Royal British Legion man it was fine. He told me when to step forward and lay the wreath, to stand next to him as he quoted ‘They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old…..’ and then when to take three steps back and bow before going back to the crowd. I was glad of his support because it’s a very important occasion and I wanted to get it right. It was a very moving service, and I was very glad to be able to take part in it.

This is the poppy wreath that I laid on the War Memorial on behalf of the Parish Council. It was decided to secure it with a stone as it was very windy.

‘They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them’