Wednesday, 11 November 2009

A Day of Remembrance

As we observed the two minute silence at 11 a.m. this morning, in honour of those who gave their lives for their country, we thought of my husband's grandfather and great uncle who died in the Somme, and who are remembered and cherished still in photographs and a couple of pencilled notes scribbled home. Great uncle George has his name on the Menin Gate, as his body was never found, and on the memorial on Oliver's Mount at Scarborough, his home town. His grandfather is remembered by a headstone in one of the many WW1 Cemetaries with row upon row of headstones as far as the eye can see. his eldest draughter (my husband's mother) was only 6 when he died, and her brother and sisters younger still . . .


  1. I think the saddest thing of all is when there is no grave for family to visit, no real knowledge of where or when these men died. Almost as sad are the graves marked 'an unknown soldier' as were many of the ones I saw in a WW2 cemetery in North Africa. Bodies so mutilated it was no longer possible to identify them - how terrible this must have been for the men who had to retrieve these bodies and bury them.

  2. J. and I spoke this morning of the many who had no real knowledge of where a family member might lie after a battle. The imaginings would have to be [perhaps?] more wrenching than reality.

  3. I have been thinking these last two days of my father-in-law who fought at, and survived, world war one because he was badly injured. And writing of my anger at warmongering; and of the Menin Gate which I did not think would move me, but it did. Visualising blood-red poppies blowing in the fields of northern France; remembering, and hoping that no-one will ever forget.