Sunday the 13th of November was the day that the nation suspended time for two minutes to remember all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in all the conflicts that this nation has found itself involved in. And to be fair that number seems to get higher as the years roll bye.
It is a good thing in my personal view that the nation makes the effort not to forget those who gave their lives for the cause of peace,indeed when I think of my own family war has played a big part in our lives and times. My mum was an evacuee who was sent to the Lake district from her native Newcastle .My dad was an Aircraft man second class (or an AC2 fitter) it was his job to repair Wellington’s and Lancaster’s that had been damaged on bombing missions over Germany.
In addition my dad`s brother Roger served his time in the Royal Navy where he survived the perils of the Russian convoys amongst other horrors. I remember him telling my brother and I the stories of his war which were pretty dramatic and scary. He almost did not survive as he contracted chronic pneumonia that almost killed him.
My grand mothers three brothers all served in the army during the first world war, they were on the front line and while all three returned home, the one brother Andrew died from his injuries shortly after he returned as he had been gassed. It is also interesting to note that a second Leitenant Frederick Birks received both the Military Medal and the Victoria Cross for his heroism before being killed at the Somme.
My brother also served in the RAF for many years and had a very distinguished career ending up as a Group Captain and being the Station Commander at REF Kinloss, so for me personally the importance of remembering all those who served the nation is real and important. In fact I was pleased to note that on Friday 11 at 11am the children from my local village school all congregated at the memorial in the church yard as the wreaths were laid by members of the British legion. A fitting and telling tribute and really important that hopefully future generations do not have to go through the awful events of past generations.