My brother is going out so this remembrance seems all the more personal this year. Here's to all those who have had to take the risk.
Last edited by RichB; 11th November 2010 at 05:47 AM.
Thanks for re-posting, Mike.
I, for one, will always remember and never forget.
May Freedom reign.
Great photo Mike, captures the sanctity of the place.
I agree with all the opinions given on this site especially the one about the politicians are the ones who should apologise.
Last year my much loved brother who fought in Burma died. He was my hero as well as a war hero though he would deny that.
To honour his memory we went along to the Anzac service last April, I took this photo of the empty chairs laid out for the service. I thought it was very symbolic, in remembrance of the people who through conflicts are no longer here. I would call it "Absent But Not Forgotten"
During my working life I have been fortunate to meet all sorts of people from many countries, and my dream is that one day through this and other forums, people collectively will say to politicians “get stuffed” go and fight your own war as Fred, George, Mario etc, etc, who’s country you want me to fight, gave me some good advice on taking that photo, and stuffed if I am going to harm him, his family or neighbours.
My 2 cents for what it is worth.
Last edited by delboy; 12th November 2010 at 02:38 AM.
We are a family of squirrels so luckily everything is saved. This is the letter notifying the death of my great great Uncle John a sergeant in the 4th Kings Liverpool Regiment. I also have the bronze plaque given in honour of his death in action. He died fighting at High Wood (Somme offensive) on 18th August 1916. His name appears on the memorial at Thiepval.... not much for the life of a young man. I also have his warrant officers baton (not pictured)
18th August 1916
Troops moved into position on the night of the 17th and morning of the 18th of August, and a methodical British barrage pounded High Wood for 26 hours before the infantry attack at 2.45 p.m. on the 18th.
The 4th Kings Liverpool and 4th Suffolks were to attack Wood Lane. None of the former even reached Wood Lane, due to the German barrage and fire from the well-defended German positions. Some Suffolks did reach Wood Lane, but were forced out.
In High Wood itself, the 2nd Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders attacked, but suffered from the British bombardment, which also damaged the flame-throwers, and the 'pipe-pushers' did not work as hoped. However the Highlanders advanced, and despite losses from machine-gun fire, some did reach the German trenches - but again could not hold on there.
Whilst there was some success to the north-west of the wood, where the 1st Loyal North Lancs gained and held some trenches, once again there was little success in High Wood itself.
Over the next few days there were some skirmishes, and on the 24th of August a smoke screen and machine gun covering fire helped men of the 100th Brigade take trenches near Wood Lane. The covering machine gun fire was co-ordinated by then Captain G.S. Hutchison, who later wrote Pilgrimage, in which he also described his experiences during the 14th and 15th of July attacks on High Wood, as well as his return to the spot several years after the War.
I have never seen a communication such as this before. Sobering stuff. We have the citation (and the medal) relating to the award of the Military Cross (MC) won by Sheila's grandfather at 3rd Ypres on 12th October 1917.
I have done a bit of research into those named on the war memorial in our little village. Primarily through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, I've been able to trace information about all but a few of the men named as killed in WW1. I've located their place of residence in Glenfarg prior to them going to war, the date and place of their death, their age at the time and, for those whose grave is known, the location of that. There are two who have no known grave and whose names apprear on the memorial at Thiepval. One of them had a brother who also has no known grave and whose name is commemorated on another memorial.
I will be visiting the Somme and Ypres next June.
If anyone wants to read about the experiences of one young Australian and understand what it was really like, I would strongly recommend E P F Lynch's, 'Somme Mud' (edited by Will Davies)
Last edited by Donald; 12th November 2010 at 01:19 PM.
Ypres is a lovely town now, built from the ruins of 1918. The war museum in the Cloth Hall is well worth a visit.
Sadly I missed the 'Last Post' at the Menen Gate.
I assume you'll get to Tyne Cot, but if you have time, try to visit the German Cemetery at Langemark, close by. It is a dark place and quite haunting, with thousands of poor souls buried in a mass grave. Such a restless place and a huge contrast to Tyne Cot.
I was lucky enough to have been born after the Second World War, but my visits to these memorial sites and my subsequent research has made me realise just how lucky my generation are. A point that those mindless individuals that wrecked Millbank this week my care to ponder. Most would have been at the Somme or Passchendaele and not survived.
As you say Mike, visits to these places can never, must never, be thought of as 'sightseeing trips' or something to be 'ticked off' the 'to do' list. They are places to go to learn and understand.
In the early 1990s I visited Auschwitz/Birkenau. Truly, nothing has ever chilled me so much. The memory of standing in crematoria 1 with an elderly lady whose language I could not understand but whose tears I shared, will remain with me forever.
I only know of one of my relatives that was fighting in the war, my granddad who was a sergeant and the only clue was while watching 'The Great Escape' or anyway a film where Steve McQueen escapes on a motorbike and he actually said, 'I was there and he really did that', and then clammed up about it.
He was shot in the head in the D-day landings but his hat saved him, he just had a fractured skull discovered during an eye operation many years later.
All my other relatives were coal miners; but I did know some Wellington pilots as well as a Spitfire pilot, the Wellington pilots were very distinguished and I asked the owner of the works they worked at if he was proud they was working for him: He said, 'nobody here has done anything like that and they are liars', but through the Spitfire pilot who just missed the big one, I found out they was telling the truth.
It is not only politicians that tell lies, but for some reason the public are taken in over and over again, if they are proved to tell one lie, how can you ever believe them and when we stop believing them war may stop as-well.
No amount of photographs or newsreels can prepare you for Auschwitz. The group of young people that accompanied us on one trip were visibly shaken and moved to tears (and that included the lads).
I can still picture the bullet marks on the execution wall, and the crematoria were not places to linger. I had my camera, but could not bring myself to take a single shot.
Thank you to Donald for directing my attention to this thread. The first photo is just amazing.
One powerful image Mike, impressive and does bring out strong emotions !