curiouswombat: (Poppies)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 10:31pm on 10/11/2013 under ,
Like so many others I have taken time to pause today, and remember those killed in all the conflicts of the last 100 years or so.

Both my family and S2C's were fortunate; his grandfathers both survived the 14-18 war - although one of his grandfathers fought at Gallipoli, and then lost a leg in the trenches in Europe, despite actually having enlisted in the navy, not the army.

My grandfathers also both survived that war; my maternal grandfather was called up whilst ill with Scarlet Fever, and had to go over to England despite this or be declared a deserter; he went, was so ill they thought he would die, and they discharged him as unfit within a couple of weeks. My paternal grandfather fought, as a bugler, in the Second Boer War but was in a reserved occupation in WW1 as a docker in Liverpool.

S2C's father is too young to have fought in the 39-45 war, and my father, and my uncle, both fought in it and survived, although my father was wounded and this contributed to his very early death at age 52.

However, we are still a fortunate family.

Last year, for the act of remembrance in church, I told the story of Walter. This year my sister read out the story of another young man whose name is on our church memorial.


365 week 36 Sunday

There is Walter - W.C. Cannell - he died before he reached his twentieth birthday.

In the lower group of names you can see G E Cain. We know George was baptised in our 'old' church; we know where he lived as a child and went to school; and we know he joined up, as an 18 year old, two weeks before the declaration of war in 1939. When he joined up he was 5'5" tall, had a 37" chest, and weighed 132lb. Not a big lad. But we also know he had twinkling blue eyes, a ready smile, and enjoyed a good laugh.

Like many young Manxmen who joined the British army at that time, he became part of the 15th (Isle of Man) Light Anti Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. He found himself fighting in Crete - where his Battery was overrun by German forces in 1941 and Georgie (for that is what his family called him) was taken prisoner of war. He was sent to Stalag VIII in Silesia - this particular camp is often called 'The Infamous Stalag VIII' and life there was not good.

In fact Georgie became ill, and died in the camp in early 1942, still aged only 21.

He was no special hero - he was no different to many of the others - and that is why we should remember - for all those killed in war are someone's son, someone's brother. Just like Georgie - whose sister is one of the oldest members of our congregation.

And here is our 'field of poppies' made by some of our smallest congregation members -


Remembrance poppy field 2


Each poppy is made from two thumb prints and a little-finger print.

And some of the other poppy pictures made, by some slightly older ones, during our morning service -


Remembrance Sunday b

Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful

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