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Taymist

Lest We Forget - Remembrance Sunday & Armistice Day

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Today is Remembrance Sunday in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth. It commemorates the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts. We hold Remembrance services at 11am on the second Sunday in November, nearest to Armistice Day.

Armistice Day is, of course, the anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War in 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

 

Today, I remember the following people.

 

My paternal Grandfather, Hallie James, who served with the Canadian North Nova Scotia Highlanders and died in combat in Holland, 1945.

My maternal Grandfather, Jack Burton, who served at various times with the 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards, Derbyshire Constabulary and R.E.M.E. He then served post war with the Special Investigation Branch in Berlin, hunting war criminals and bringing them to justice. 

 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

- Laurence Binyon

 

 

Quote

On November 7th, 1920, in strictest secrecy, four unidentified British bodies were exhumed from temporary battlefield cemeteries at Ypres, Arras, the Asine and the Somme.

None of the soldiers who did the digging were told why.

The bodies were taken by field ambulance to GHQ at St-Pol-Sur-Ter Noise. Once there, the bodies were draped with the union flag.

Sentries were posted and Brigadier-General Wyatt and a Colonel Gell selected one body at random. The other three were reburied.

A French Honour Guard was selected and stood by the coffin overnight of the chosen soldier overnight.

On the morning of the 8th November, a specially designed coffin made of oak from the grounds of Hampton Court arrived and the Unknown Warrior was placed inside.

On top was placed a crusaders sword and a shield on which was inscribed:

"A British Warrior who fell in the GREAT WAR 1914-1918 for King and Country".

On the 9th of November, the Unknown Warrior was taken by horse-drawn carriage through Guards of Honour and the sound of tolling bells and bugle calls to the quayside.

There, he was saluted by Marechal Foche and loaded onto HMS Vernon bound for Dover. The coffin stood on the deck covered in wreaths, surrounded by the French Honour Guard.

Upon arrival at Dover, the Unknown Warrior was met with a nineteen gun salute - something that was normally only reserved for Field Marshals.

A special train had been arranged and he was then conveyed to Victoria Station, London.

He remained there overnight, and, on the morning of the 11th of November, he was finally taken to Westminster Abbey.

The idea of the unknown warrior was thought of by a Padre called David Railton who had served on the front line during the Great War. The union flag he had used as an altar cloth whilst at the front, was the one that had been draped over the coffin.

It was his intention that all of the relatives of the 517,773 combatants whose bodies had not been identified could believe that the Unknown Warrior could very well be their lost husband, father, brother or son...

THIS is the reason we wear poppies.

We do not glorify war.

We remember - with humility - the great and the ultimate sacrifices that were made, not just in this war, but in every war and conflict where our service personnel have fought - to ensure the liberty and freedoms that we now take for granted.

Every year, on the 11th of November, we remember the Unknown Warrior.

 

Remembrance-Day-2017.jpg

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My province borders Nova Scotia fwiw.

 

##neverforgetthosewhofoughtandgavethierlivesforourfreedoms.

Edited by Zander?

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I have quite a lot of family in Canada, mainly New Brunswick, and quite a few still serving military too. It's the one country I'd really like to visit above all others. 

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29 minutes ago, Taymist said:

I have quite a lot of family in Canada, mainly New Brunswick, and quite a few still serving military too. It's the one country I'd really like to visit above all others. 

 

Well were pretty awesome....lol

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This is a beautiful way to memorialize those who served! I have been fortunate enough that those in my family who served are still with us; however, they do not speak of their timed in the armed services. My maternal grandfather was a mailman in Vietnam (I didn't know this until I was in college). He is the only blood relative of mine who has served. Both of my husband's grandfathers served - his paternal grandfather was a cook during WW1 and his notes for D-Day involved creating soups and calculations for how much to make based on the number of men who had survived. He passed about three years ago at the youthful age of 94, I believe. My husband's maternal grandfather served during WWII and the cold war in the Navy on the U.S.S. Enterprise. He passed about six years ago of a heart condition. 

 

I suspect that my maternal great grandfather also served, but I don't have confirmation. My mom's family does not talk about serving much at all and were upset when my husband considered joining the Air Force (he was medically discharged during boot camp training due to a chronic foot ailment). Nevertheless, I am grateful for those that have served and have given their lives to protect those at home or those who are unable to serve for various reasons!

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Love the story about the soup calculations. How sad and yet so fascinating too. I also find that friends and family who have served, particularly in war zones, are never keen to discuss the details. My fiance's Dad was Royal Air Force and his younger brother was Army and both refused to talk about it. Much of the information I have on my 3 Grandfathers, (my step-grandfather also served in the Army in WWII, and was a prisoner of war in Italy, but thankfully survived to return home), came from discussions with other older family members and through my own family tree research. 

 

Given what's going on around the world these days, it just seems more vital than ever to me that we keep the lessons of the past, and what these men and women fought for, very clearly front and centre.

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Many years ago in the old Pro Boards I posted a story about my father, who'd be 95 next June, and he not shuffled off this mortal coil 4 years ago. There was a Hall of Fame or sommat in the Infantry. I have no idea if it's still there or not, it could be in some archive or other.
Any Road he was a teenaged Marine in WW2, injured on Iwo Jima, a 20-something tank commander/platoon leader in Korea, a tank battalion 1st Sgt. in Santo Domingo in the mid-sixties and a Sgt Maj to a Base Commander in Vietnam.
I'm more impressed with 'Jolly Old's' way with Poppies, than I am with the incessant claptrap over here these days.

Lovely post Tay ... though I would expect no less ❤️

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Thank you, bro and welcome home. :wub:

 

I remember you talking about your Dad before. Not sure about the Infantry thread but I'll have a look.

 

I like the poppies too; buying one is a donation direct to charities that specifically support veterans. I bought a pin badge this year from Poppy Scotland because I know they provide funding to the Scottish War Blinded centre at Linburn, just along the road from us. Davy's Dad was very involved there, right up until he passed away, so it's a nice way to keep the connection going.

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On 11/26/2019 at 8:54 PM, Taymist said:

Love the story about the soup calculations. How sad and yet so fascinating too. I also find that friends and family who have served, particularly in war zones, are never keen to discuss the details. My fiance's Dad was Royal Air Force and his younger brother was Army and both refused to talk about it. Much of the information I have on my 3 Grandfathers, (my step-grandfather also served in the Army in WWII, and was a prisoner of war in Italy, but thankfully survived to return home), came from discussions with other older family members and through my own family tree research. 

 

Given what's going on around the world these days, it just seems more vital than ever to me that we keep the lessons of the past, and what these men and women fought for, very clearly front and centre.

So, so true, I try to remind students about this as much as possible. It helps with the literature we read (Crucible, Hamlet, Gatsby, Unbroken, etc.) because those issues come forward and we discuss the lesson the author is teaching us the reader and students often connect these to what they learn in history. It is my hope and prayer that the next generation takes care of us, but there is never a guarantee, of course.

 

@Auld Manriva Nice to see you around, and nice of you to share your own family's background with us as well!

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