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Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Remembrance Sunday

I am posting this tribute in advance of our Remembrance Sunday, 14 November. I usually post The Sunday Roast every weekend and I wanted to pay my respects in advance.

 Painting of a Spitfire by Barrie A F Clark

This painting hangs on the wall of a local civic hall. Apart from being a beautiful aircraft, it reminds me of all those brave pilots who fought The Battle Of Britain.  A battle where we fought alone with our backs against the wall.  Defying all the odds, they stood firm and beat back the enemy's constant onslaught of aerial bombardment with their determined dogfights. Britain was saved and we were able to use our land as a springboard, together with our great ally from across the pond, to free Europe of that evil Nazi tyranny once and for all.
Today I bought a poppy from a soldier in the foyer of our local supermarket.  I was impressed that people were actually queuing to buy a poppies this year.  This I found most refreshing because my feelings were that people might be forgetting the sacrifice young people gave for our benefit. I was wrong.

Perhaps more so this year I felt a wave of gratitude and pride for all those young service men in all three armed services, who fought and died in the great wars, and lesser ones, helping to make this world a better place for us today.  Young men, cut down in, and often before, their prime - some as young as 15 and typically under 25. Men who did not know, and never will enjoy what real life is about - marriage, children, a career, grandchildren, growing old together . . . the list is endless.
 
I took this shot at East Brent, near Weston-Super-Mare, whilst taking a short break from Ambulance Duties in 2008, just after Remembrance Day. I had passed by many times and always intended to use the photograph for a post like this.

The Royal British Legion is calling on the nation to unite in commemorating Remembrance Sunday at the 2010 Cenotaph Parade in Whitehall on 14 November. There will be 7444 veterans taking part in the March past from various regiments, with over a thousand other representatives from other organisations and associations.

A wonderful old gentleman will not be there this year. I speak of Harry Patch who died on 25 July 2009 at the grand old age of 111 years 38 days. So he was alive when I shot my photograph because in London he had just attended the ceremony at the Cenotaph as the oldest survivor of World War One living in Europe. At one point 'Patch' was the third oldest man in the world. I have added a link to this incredible man, known as "The Last Fighting Tommy" . . . . and one of 67 oldest ever men. He fought at the great Battle Of Passchendaele - a hell on Earth.

 Harry Patch aged 109

Tonight I was astounded to learn that Harry was born just 5 miles from where I live.
Interestingly, Harry lived 111 years, 1 month, 1 week, 1 day. . . . . . which reminds us of Armistice Day, 11th hour, 11th day, 11th month.  Life is full of co-incidences . . . or are they?

Let us never forget them. R I P

14 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for posting this. To be blessed by God with men and women willing to put down their lives for our beliefs is amazing.

    God Bless to all our armed forces. Especially hearty thanks to my Dad.

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  2. A wonderful tribute, Eddie. Beautifully done. Our Remembrance day is always on the 11th (month, day and hour) and I'll have a special post going up tomorrow. I hope you'll stop by then.

    Thanks for this glimpse inside the life of Harry Patch.

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  3. this is a wonderful post Eddie... it's good to know that so many are making time to remember the sacrifices made by those in the armed services. Thank you for sharing your thoughts =-)

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  4. great tribute eddie...and thank you for helping us to remember...

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  5. That was a lovely tribute and everyone loved Harry Patch and he is missed by many.
    You have some lovely photos there.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  6. Thank you Eddie for this wonderful tribute to all the men and women who have served and even given their lives for our freedom. I salute them all!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  7. Lovely tribute Eddie.

    Lest We Forget.

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  8. Wow, Eddie, that's quite the story, about Mr. Patch. I'm sorry to say I'd never heard of him before, being so far from your shores. Thanks for bringing him alive for my mind.

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  9. A very moving tribute Eddie. Thanks.

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  10. Excellent tribute, I enjoyed reading your words and also the photos too. I had not thought about the coincidence surrounding Harry Patch's death, very interesting.

    It is so important to remember.

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  11. Great post and tribute to all of those who served in the armed forces. Mr. Patch certainly lived a good, long life! Wonder what his secret was?

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  12. Such a nice tribute Eddie. Thank you.

    Harry's age is really interesting. Bless his soul.

    Cheers to you and yours. jj

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