Sunday, November 09, 2008

Lest we forget

I have been working in Cardiff all weekend so I couldn't make it to the Cenotaph today (but at least the South Africans beat the Welsh). However, there is a ceremony on Armistice Day at the Cenotaph where the last three remaining from the First World War will each lay a wreath and also the Silence in the Square

Join us in Trafalgar Square from 9.45 am on Tuesday 11 November 2008 to stand shoulder to shoulder in a rarely silent London. Together we will reflect in silence on the human cost of conflict.

The Royal British Legion invites people of every age, race and religion to come together to mark the 90th Anniversary: Two Minute Silence at 11am in Trafalgar Square on Tuesday 11 November.

The Two Minute Silence has been observed on Armistice Day since the end of the First World War; but with troops on active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and other trouble spots around the world today, the Two Minute Silence remains as relevant today as ever.

This year is the 90th Anniversary of the end of the 'War to end all wars' and so I thought I would write up a section from a book I have been reading at the moment which, when I read it, reduced me to tears.

If you were on that commuter train, you now know why there was a girl sobbing.

'Samson lay groaning about twenty yards beyond the front trench. Several attempts were made to rescue him. He had been very badly hit. Three men got killing in these attempts; two officers and two men, wounded. In the end his own orderly managed to crawl out to him. Samson waved him back, saying that he was riddled through and not worth rescuing; he sent his apologies to the company for making such a noise...

At dusk we all went out to get in the wounded, leaving only sentries in the line. The first dead body I came across was Samson's, hit in seventeen places. I found that he had forced his knuckles into his mouth to stop himself crying out and attracting anymore men to their death.'
From Robert Graves' 'Goodbye to All That'. David Cameron's favourite book, but don't let that stop you from reading it if you haven't already.

Hopefully that should remind anyone yet to buy a poppy to do so and, most importantly, wear it with pride.

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