Saturday, 10 November 2012

We Will Remember Them : Lest We Forget

It's that time of year again. Poppies are everywhere and it is a time of reflection for many people all over the world. Those with ancestors who fought in the war that was meant to be over in less than four months. Men (and women) all over the world, leaving their homes, their families, their lovers, their friends. Off to fight for a war they either wanted no part of or wanted initailly because of a fire in their bellies. I would bet none of them anticipated the repercussions, the legacy, the pain and tears, or the sorrow that it would leave behind and instill in our hearts and souls even today, 98 years on.

For my distant cousins Sidney Preston, James Jolly, William Waters and for those ancestors that came home to their loved ones and their beloved home soil. To those that raised families and struggled daily with their own personal nightmares and private hell, I thank each and every one of you. One of my favourite war poems was written by Rupert Brooke (1887-1915):

The Soldier

If I should die, think of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dream happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts of peace, under an English heaven.

James Jolly, Bungay War Memorial
William Waters, Beccles War Memorial
Sidney Preston, Holt War Memorial

"My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity."
                                                          ----- Wilfred Owen