I always donate and get tearful at this time, for my grand-dad who's health was ruined by the injury he received in the First War, and for his brother who was killed at 20 and all the other poor souls at that time, and of course for all the wonderful armed forces who kept us safe in the Second world war..for the dead of all nations killed in War..for our young people still being killed today in wars created by governments..
My Mum and I always go over to the Garden of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on Armistice day, to plant crosses for the family members who were in the 1st and 2nd World Wars. It is very moving to see all the crosses (and Stars of David, and crescents) planted in rows. Last year we saw the 3 surviving men from WW1 - sadly all dead now.
'Lest we forget?' How easilly we do forget. How many wars has there been on this planet since 'The war to end all wars?'
I can remember as a kid, the stories my grandfather used to tell me about the First World War. The names of all the battlefields are etched on my mind. He still used to get a tear in his eye when he told of his lifelong friend who he had shared a bottle of 'vin blonk' with a few days before going to the front. His friend fell next to him as they went 'over the top.' He was a typical 'Tommy' who came home from the war with a collection of French words and phrases wich he interspersed with his cockney English. They became a permanent part of his vocabulary and remained with him all his life. Of all the wars the First World War is the one that angers me most. The astronomical waste of life. Daily casualties counted in tens of thousands. Up to his death in 1972, my grandfather still spoke of his days in the trenches. He was forty-eight at the outbreak of WW11 and too old for active service. But he had many adventures in the military police. One of which was to purseue a couple of lads who had gone 'awol' while doing their training. To his horror one of them turned out to be his son!(My uncle.) After giving him a good talking to and a clip round the ear he managed to smuggle him back to barracks and somehow the matter was hushed up. Apart from little episodes like that one, the Second World War hardly merited a mention.
Aah bless them, one of my enduring memories of my Grand-father is walking down a narrow hallway with him clutching my shoulder because his sight was going, I think he was gassed in the war also apart from being shot, he never moaned or complained at all..his mates did not come back so he was lucky...his words...