Countries, Europe

Lest we forget war is no game

On this Remembrance Day lest we forget war is no game and nothing at all like SAS Rogue Heroes.

Yes, lazy national stereotypes were de rigueur but the Paddies and Jocks of the trenches were miles removed from the SAS action men of the BBC series.

Most Tommies were only worried about keeping life and limb in the mud and blood of the Flanders and French earth.

And ensure that if they should meet their fate on some foreign field that their feet mark them out as for ever English…

Or Scottish or Welsh or Irish.

A soldier’s feet

The numbers on the soles of their feet identifying them.

On the occasion that they get blown to smithereens.

And the only way of verifying who they were was by their numbers.

And all so the bereaved can get their widows’ pension.

A trail of blood

My heroic Great-Uncle: At his grave in Ieper

The boots and their books, if they could be found, would be loaded on to the back of a truck.

Still dripping with blood and seeping out the back door.

Hard to read, and to hear, but on this Remembrance Day it is worth taking our two minutes’ silence to reflect on that.

And what the red poppy symbolises… that everything died in No Man’s Land apart from the flower.

The last post

Historic year: For Ireland and the UK in France

All of which you can discover for yourself from the experts at Ireland’s GTI Travel, the Group Specialists.

On their battlefield trip experiences which could reveal who you really are and your family’s place in history.

And where I said my clan’s farewell to my own Great-Uncle Willie in Ieper.

The first of us to see him since he fell fighting for who knows what?

That Britain might keep its promise and give Ireland its freedom.

Or because an elder brother was worried about the group he was associating with at home.

A family history

Every one a hero: Ieper

There are a million reasons and a million stories of why Tommies went to war.

And they are our stories which the Commonwealth Graves Commission will help you unearth.

And guide you to where your loved one rests for eternity.

A white cross amid a sea of like crosses marking out that they would not grow old as we that are left grow old.

So however we remember them today…

Whether at our war memorial in our villages, towns, cities.

Or laying the wreath, as some of us have been fortunate enough to do, at the Menin Gate, and hear the Last Post.

Lest we forget war is no game.

 

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