I attempt a salute in respect and gratitude for all those men and women in WW1 and WW2 who gave their lives so that future generations might live in peace and freedom.
Can’t tell you how affected and moved I felt putting on this uniform at the Bovington Tank Museum, Dorset. Young men wore similar jackets to clamber over the trenches in the First World War. My own parents fought in WW2 and my Dad taught me how to salute (I hope I’ve remembered okay) he also taught me how to march in a smart manner! No sample of that here though!
Anthem for Doomed Youth
The poem Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen is one of the most famous of war poems. I find it immensely sad that this genius poet was killed in battle during the very last month of the First World War. Dying only one week before the signing of the Armistice. His parents receiving the dreaded telegram of his death in the very hour the bells were ringing out in celebration of the signing of the Armistice and the ceasing of conflict of the war.
What passing bells for those who die as Cattle?Wilfred Owen MC – October 1917
Only the monstrous anger of the guns
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, —
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
The loss of this young poet in the last moments of the war is tragic both to his parents and to Poetry.
Imagine what beautiful writings he might yet have written! The loss to his parents and to poetry is heartrending.
Today on Armistice Day 2020 I remember my parents and their friends who fought in WW2
I also remember my maternal grandfather and relatives who fought in WW1
Today we are at war with Covid-19 Coronavirus an unseen enemy.