Monday, 9 November 2009

We Will Remember Them

Yesterday was Remembrance Sunday and I along with two other generations of my family went to the Remembrance service and then watched the parade through Town afterwards. I take Chick every year as I think it’s important for her to acknowledge the sacrifice of previous generations and to realise how damn lucky she actually is. I’ve been attending various services ever since I was in my late Teens and today was the busiest that I’ve ever seen it. Some of my friends don’t agree with my point of view on this subject which is absolutely fine. I have no intention of upsetting anyone with my point of view and I’m not about to argue with anyone who doesn’t think the Remembrance is worthwhile but I have several reasons for wanting to remember.

Both my Grandfathers were in the Army during the years of National Service that followed WW2. My Great Uncle fought in World War Two and My American Dad was in the Air Force. For three years in my early Twenties I worked alongside the British Army in Germany and I’m proud to be friends still with some of these guys. Part of my reason for the Remembrance is because of the guys and gals above. I want them to know that I’m grateful that they are prepared to lay down their lives for us, even for wars or causes that they don’t believe in and that some of us in England do care and do appreciate that they are stuck in hellish conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It bothers me that the government has got us into these wars and cannot even afford to send the Troops out with the proper military kit to help them survive. Sub standard boots, trucks that are neither use nor ornament and not enough air support as the helicopters we need are stuck in a hangar somewhere. Two years ago a charity was set up by Bryn and Emma Parry called ‘Help for Heroes’ to help wounded Personnel get the support that they need. It’s quite well supported in England but we shouldn’t fu**ing need it. The government should be providing the wounded with all the help they need not leaving it to the fundraising abilities of the good British people. (As a side note I’ll be climbing Kilimanjaro in January 2011 for Help for Heroes....more details to follow if I can ever afford to get myself registered on the climb!!!!)

When I first moved back to England from Germany, I went back to school and did a History course. As part of that course we visited the Battlefields of the First World War. Before we left I read everything that I could get my hands on relating to the war. I cannot even begin to describe how heart wrenching the trip was. At all the (huge) memorials there is just row upon row upon row of names of the dead. We visited the Town of Ypres and the Menin Gate Memorial where each night at 8pm the last post is played and you can’t help but be moved, in fact it just sends a shiver down my spine!! It’s only in recent years that I can bear to read anything about the conditions they fought in, so profound was the trip.

This year for the first time World War One has gone from living memory to history after our last surviving soldiers from WW1 Henry Allingham and Harry Patch died. We may have none of them left but I will always remember them and the guys that they had to leave behind buried in mud on Flanders fields and I want to part of the movement that keeps their memory alive.

So this is why I want to remember and why Chick and I both bought poppies on the day the campaign started. Each time I open a paper and read about more deaths I’m always half expecting it to be someone I knew in the past and for this reason we will be wearing our poppies until Wednesday when I’ll probably post a poem or something in Remembrance. If you don’t want to remember that’s fine.......I won’t be offended if you give me a miss on Wednesday.

"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"
John Maxwell Edmonds


  1. Very moving Emma, and greatly appreciated by those who serve now,and those who have served in the past. Thank you!!!

  2. Very well said Emma. It is greatly appreciated by those who currently serve, and those who have served in the past, that someone remembers and appreciates the sacrifices that have been made. Thank you!!!

  3. Amazing words,very heartfelt and meaningful.I like it very much.

  4. Lovely post Emma!!

    My great-grandfather got a 'blighty wound' in July 1918. He was put on the hospital ship Warilda which was sunk by a torpedo from german uboat as it crossed the English channel on the 3rd August 1918. He had fought long and hard for four years and died on his way home only a few short months before the end of WW1. I wear my poppy with great pride!