We Will Remember Them (Full Version)

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homersimpson_esq -> We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 9:34:56 AM)

I always feel a little odd this time of year because while many others have relatives who fought in various wars - often grandfathers in WWII - I don't have any relatives who have been in the armed forces. Well, I do by marriage as my father-in-law was in the army, but not blood relatives. My paternal grandfather was a baker, and stayed on the home front, and my maternal grandfather was a miner, and also vital to the country here, rather than abroad. Many have stories their grandfathers or other relatives have told of war, but that aspect of my life is strangely missing. However, the debt we owe has never been underestimated by me, and while I'm a pacifist at heart, I can't argue the sacrifice men and women make for their country is meaningless - it isn't. In years gone by I'd always go to the Remembrance Day service and I loved that combination of the passion and the austere. There was always such pride as the various banners would parade by. It's occasions like this that I do miss going to church - not for the religious aspect, but for the sense of community that you get.


For The Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
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.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
Laurence Robert Binyon, 1869-1943




rikkie -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 11:35:28 AM)

Well said Homer.  It's always nice to see due respect given to the people that laid down their lives for our civil liberty - no matter what your politics.

My father's brother was killed by "friendly fire" in World War II (ironically whilst recuperating in a field hospital), and I've always thought it a horrible way to go.




Comrade Zutroy -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 11:42:50 AM)

My grandfather fought in North Africa in WWII.  He died a few years ago so I never got to ask him about his experiences.  I don't think he would have wanted to talk about it anyways. 

I really don't think about him enough but at this time of the year I feel real, honest pride in him.






borstal -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 11:55:47 AM)

My grandad was in the navy and was on the ship that sank the Admiral Graf Spee at the Battle of River Plate. He asked for a gun so he felt more involved...he dropped it overboard accidently an hour or so later and that is his war story.

War isnt always heck, sometimes its amusing.

Respect is due to all those who put their lives on the line, I think its difficult to comprehend in our very safe modern lives just what they went through.




King_Bard -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 11:59:56 AM)

Though none of my family as far as i know fought in WW2, my grandad was only nine at that time and my greatgranfather had died in a motorcycle accicdent a few years before the war started, i still think its wonderful how we as a country show our thanks to those brave men and woman who fought and somtimes died for our freedom...




DJ Satan -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 12:02:54 PM)

My Grandad way a driver during WW2. The only story I remember is when he took a wrong turn on the way to Dunkirk. So when everyone was being evacuated out of France his convoy ended up in Marsaille!




pettsy -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 12:13:00 PM)

My grandfather was a gunner in WWII, which basically meant he sat at the back of a plane (a Halifax, if I remember correctly) and shot at people out of it.  The people he fought with meet up every year, and over the last couple of years the numbers have dropped dramatically, from 20 down to about 7.

I'm proud of him all year round, but I like to take a few moments on this day to remember other people who have fought and died in conflicts over the years.  Our local regiment has suffered heavy losses in Iraq and Afghanistan this year, and just this weekend another soldier died, so we also like to think of them and their families.




Sway -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 12:44:09 PM)

I'm currently almost finished Band of Brothers after having started watching the series again this week, so my mind has very much been on war recently, and I've been wearing my poppy all week at work.  I was a bit shocked to find a lack of poppies this year really - I think I went into one place selling them, and I don't think nearly enough people have been wearing them.

Anyway my grandad also fought in WWII. I'm not entirely sure what his job was, but I do know he was involved in flying, and as hollywood as it sounds, espionage. I recall him telling me he was dropping off spies in various locations, but he himself wasn't allowed to know any details about who he was delivering etc.  He's often recounted the story of how one time his plane landed in such heavy fog, it landed directly on top of another plane.  Madness!

My thoughts will certainly be with those who gave up their lives fighting for, and protecting this country. I don't even necessarily just mean those who died either, but all those who were severely injured, be it physically or mentally. I can scarcely imagine what it must have been like trying to live with such experiences back in civilian life, post-war.  Many never recovered from the trauma, and so even though they survived physically intact, they still, in essence, gave their lives up for us.

Very humbling day today.




JV -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 12:47:22 PM)

As far as I know, only one member of my family was involved in the Second World War, and that was my grandad. However, somehow he managed to stay out of the thick of it and instead had a jolly good time romancing women in Holland. Or something like that.

My other grandad was a miner, which is probably why he didn't get shipped off.

My dad was in the army for about 16 or 17 years and he left it when I was about 4 so he missed most conflicts. He was in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe though in the late 70s and has loads of stories to tell from there. I asked him once if he'd ever killed anyone. "Not that I know of," he said, "but sometimes you'd hear something moving in the bushes so you'd open fire, but we never found anyone, just dead animals." [:D]

Anyway, regardless, I think of all the people who have died in conflicts, both then and now, and it's quite heartbreaking really.




Funkyrae -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 3:32:13 PM)

My grandfather was part of the Merchant Navy during WWII.  He was kicked out at the end of the war because he was colour blind.  Strangely it didn't make much of a difference while there was fighting to be done.

All involved in the war, either at home or fighting deserve to be remembered at this time.  The sacrifices made so that we can keep our civil liberties should be remembered at all times and not just once a year.




James2183 -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 3:45:53 PM)

My grandfather was an SAS commando in World War II. His brother also took part but was sadly killed after falling through a bombed out building that they were searching. It wasn't until a few years after his death that I was told about his part in WWII and of the few stories that my Nan was told about him. This makes me really sad as he used to love talking about certain aspects of the war when I was little, but I never really paid attention which I scorn myself for now. What I would give for one more afternoon with him so that he could talk his heart out to me about it.




Peppermint -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 4:01:57 PM)

I don't know much about my family so I don't know if my grandfathers were in the forces or not, but I did have a teacher that had been in the Army and he was just about the kindest person I've ever known.  We used to ask him about his experiences, but he would never talk about it and I think it embarrassed him.

RIP Mr Maynard.




pettsy -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 4:41:03 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: James2183

My grandfather was an SAS commando in World War II. His brother also took part but was sadly killed after falling through a bombed out building that they were searching. It wasn't until a few years after his death that I was told about his part in WWII and of the few stories that my Nan was told about him. This makes me really sad as he used to love talking about certain aspects of the war when I was little, but I never really paid attention which I scorn myself for now. What I would give for one more afternoon with him so that he could talk his heart out to me about it.


I think everyone does that.  I wouldn't beat yourself up about it.  Its difficult, especially as a child, to grasp exactly what those people went through to ensure we had our freedom.  Our generation are exceptionally lucky in that (so far) we haven't had our existence and livelihood threatened to that extent, so its an alien concept to us.




parsonage84 -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 8:11:13 PM)

Both my grandads fought in the second world war, unfortuntely both died while was still young and whenever they told me stories or showed me medals dont think really sank in what they went through, like previous people have said wish be able to go back and ask them about it now




Funkyrae -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 8:56:02 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: James2183

My grandfather was an SAS commando in World War II. His brother also took part but was sadly killed after falling through a bombed out building that they were searching. It wasn't until a few years after his death that I was told about his part in WWII and of the few stories that my Nan was told about him. This makes me really sad as he used to love talking about certain aspects of the war when I was little, but I never really paid attention which I scorn myself for now. What I would give for one more afternoon with him so that he could talk his heart out to me about it.


Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.  He had some amazing stories and they just didn't seem real to me somehow back then.  My nan (who is now 78) is the only person I know who has a living memory of what it was like to have been evacuated.  I'm hoping she's still around to give my daughter her memories of that.




Deviation -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 9:52:48 PM)

Malta suffered severely in the war because of the air raids made by the germans and italians on our islands( considered far worse than the ones of the Battle for Britian ). My grandpa lost a part of his faimly in just one bomb. My grandma didn't suffer a lot in the war becuase she was away from the air raids(in Mgarr, close to Gnejna Bay, you know where Funky?) while the air raids focused more on the port region in Valletta, and it was only defended by three(if I'm not wrong) spitfires and a bunch of AA guns. My family were never involved directly in the war(never fought in a battle, unless you don't count the raids), but they suffered.


Those who died in both World Wars shall be remembered




Funkyrae -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 10:16:53 PM)

Yeah I know where Deviation.  Malta suffered incredibly badly.  I remember being told that the amount of bombs it took to destroy Coventry were dropped in Malta in a day.  It truly is incredible how much the people of Malta did in the War and are all too often overlooked.




Harry Lime -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 10:33:43 PM)

My Grandad fought in Norway, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany during the war. He won the MM during the Battle of Bulge. I've been doing a lot of family research over the last year and I have managed to get hold of his commendation from the National Archives:
 
"This NCO commanded a fighting patrol 1000 yds WEST of BLERICK on 28 NOV 1944.
 
This patrol was ordered to destroy the Bosche (I can't believe they actually used this word in official documents!!!) around some farm buildings forward of the coy locality. To ensure that the very best possible lines of approach were well known to him and that he was deeply conversant with the ground in the enemy positions, L/Sgt Newton carried out an extremely bold stalk in by daylight close to the objective. Having thereby detected a route which passed through two minefields and through the wire that emcompassed enemy positions, L/Sgt Newton carefully briefed his men.
 
Every mans task was thoroughly learned and practiced under their commanders supervision.
 
The patrol advanced to the assault positions without opposition. Here, however, a challenge rang out from the enemy post followed by firing at the assault party. L/Sgt Newton rushed in, seized the sentry who fired but narrowly missed him as he approached, and pulled him out of his trench.
 
Overcome by this sudden show of bravery and force, the three occupants of the adjoining trench surrendered.
 
Sending them hastily home L/Sgt Newton then moved to clear up the rest of the locality. Rushing  from post to post he was suddenly confronted by a German at point blank range. The German fired and missed was at once accounted for by this determined NCO.
 
With complete disregard for his own personal safety, and showing a fine example of determination to his men he completed the clearance of this difficult locality.
 
The fact that this position was completely cleared without loss to the assault party was due entirely to the fine leadership displayed by this gallant NCO.
 
It's signed by Field Marshal Montgomery and everything! I've always been so proud of him and I always wear my poppy in the week up to Rememberance Sunday.
 
What makes it more phenomenol is that he was only just turned 24 at the time! That's nearly five years younger than me. It truly is amazing what my grandfathers generation risked and sacrificed for us.




Deviation -> RE: We Will Remember Them (11/11/2007 10:39:12 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Funkyrae

Yeah I know where Deviation.  Malta suffered incredibly badly.  I remember being told that the amount of bombs it took to destroy Coventry were dropped in Malta in a day.  It truly is incredible how much the people of Malta did in the War and are all too often overlooked.


Malta suffered very badly in the war. But we survived and we showed those germans bombarding us a thing and two about surviving(no offense to the germans on this forum). And thank god for the convoy that was sent from Britian to aid Malta(another great piece of history there folks).

We deserve a movie about us(they just made one but that's a maltese production so its bound to be awful.......................)[:D].




punchdrunk -> RE: We Will Remember Them (12/11/2007 1:02:31 AM)

My Great grandfather fought in WWI he didn't ell alot about his experiences over in Gremany, but it was pretty harsh for him, but one hightlight for him was he fell in love with a German girl who he had a Tattoo of her name made, (which my grandmother was always jealous of despite having 12 children together) when i heard about this i felt closer to this man who i had never met, as i have also travelled to other countries and experienced women from other countries not in war time (world war time anyway).

My mothers father was too young to join the army in the war and always felt guilty, so he later became the head of the Royal British Leigion in our area and gave great respect and dignity to the veterans in his organisation of the events surrounding Poppy day seeing hime do these events gave me a greater understanding of how i should treat the veterans and show respect to the fallen.

My Fathers father was an Enginieer based in Eygpt in the Second world war at the time it was a long journey to get their by boat and was pretty tough, but he has some great photographs of the place, but wouldn't talk about his time there too much occationally after a few whiskeys maybe, he told of the time he saw a rival group come into a workshop and kill the weapons manufacturers with their own tools from his hotel window, He also ran the British Leigon group in his smaller village in Appleton, he has just passed it on to Blackwells family as he is 82 and he told me they have been jealous of him doing it for years, I see where i get my stubborness from.[:D]
     




punchdrunk -> RE: We Will Remember Them (12/11/2007 1:09:34 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Harry Lime

My Grandad fought in Norway, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany during the war. He won the MM during the Battle of Bulge. I've been doing a lot of family research over the last year and I have managed to get hold of his commendation from the National Archives:
 
"This NCO commanded a fighting patrol 1000 yds WEST of BLERICK on 28 NOV 1944.
 
This patrol was ordered to destroy the Bosche (I can't believe they actually used this word in official documents!!!) around some farm buildings forward of the coy locality. To ensure that the very best possible lines of approach were well known to him and that he was deeply conversant with the ground in the enemy positions, L/Sgt Newton carried out an extremely bold stalk in by daylight close to the objective. Having thereby detected a route which passed through two minefields and through the wire that emcompassed enemy positions, L/Sgt Newton carefully briefed his men.
 
Every mans task was thoroughly learned and practiced under their commanders supervision.
 
The patrol advanced to the assault positions without opposition. Here, however, a challenge rang out from the enemy post followed by firing at the assault party. L/Sgt Newton rushed in, seized the sentry who fired but narrowly missed him as he approached, and pulled him out of his trench.
 
Overcome by this sudden show of bravery and force, the three occupants of the adjoining trench surrendered.
 
Sending them hastily home L/Sgt Newton then moved to clear up the rest of the locality. Rushing  from post to post he was suddenly confronted by a German at point blank range. The German fired and missed was at once accounted for by this determined NCO.
 
With complete disregard for his own personal safety, and showing a fine example of determination to his men he completed the clearance of this difficult locality.
 
The fact that this position was completely cleared without loss to the assault party was due entirely to the fine leadership displayed by this gallant NCO.
 
It's signed by Field Marshal Montgomery and everything! I've always been so proud of him and I always wear my poppy in the week up to Rememberance Sunday.
 
What makes it more phenomenol is that he was only just turned 24 at the time! That's nearly five years younger than me. It truly is amazing what my grandfathers generation risked and sacrificed for us.


That's amazing Harry, you're right to be proud. the closest you get to that kind of heroism these days is on a PS2 game!




Larry of Arabia -> RE: We Will Remember Them (12/11/2007 1:29:12 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: punchdrunk

That's amazing Harry, you're right to be proud. the closest you get to that kind of heroism these days is on a PS2 game!


Perhaps some soldiers in Iraq may be doing their bit... [8|]

(No disrespect meant to Harry's grandfather).




punchdrunk -> RE: We Will Remember Them (12/11/2007 1:48:43 AM)

Well picked up, I meant "the closest "I"  get to that kind of heroism these days is on a PS2 game" Larry, I have friends out in Iraq they are brave and loyal to the country, but I pray that they can come home soon.




Hood_Man -> RE: We Will Remember Them (12/11/2007 3:37:39 AM)

My grandfather on my fathers side fought in WW2.  Unfortunately, like many have already said, I don't know all that much about what he did out there.  However, he did fight over in Germany and (something I'm exceptionally proud of) one time he went round to as many German children as he could find, handing out loaves of bread.

I just think it's a nice reminder that the German people suffered terribly as well, but not everyone villified them.




Kilo_T_Mortal -> RE: We Will Remember Them (12/11/2007 8:53:54 AM)

My grandfather fought the Japanese in Burma, he has written a book that I've been editing however it's unlikely to ever be published. However he was involved in raids into enemy territory and had many awful experiences including a lot of hand to hand fighting. My dad told me about the time years later, when drunk telling him what it was like to stab a man. There were lots of awful incidents but he once was on a raid and one of his men was taken captive and they had to hide whilst listening to him being tortured, unable to help him. My Granddad suffered a nervous breakdown on his return to England and only gets by now on tamazipan. He's been happy enough the last few years, but he can't ever shake some evil memories and you can see him twitching in his sleep and calling out names. He's suffering badly from dementia now.

There are some very good stories from the book, a truly horrible one was where upon learning the war was over they returned to Durban and got drunk. They woke up the next morning and found a body of one of the men from another boat in the water. He'd gotten so drunk he had fallen over the side and drowned. Some few weeks from home after the war had ended.





Fanboyslayer -> RE: We Will Remember Them (12/11/2007 9:41:53 AM)

One of my Grandads frought in Japan and ended up in a POW camp for a while. My other grandad was in Egypt. Neither one ever mentioned a thing about it. My Dad was in Northen Ireland and the Falklands. Luckily he never got sent to Iraq during the first one and was out by the time this one came round.  My great gandfather was Italian and the day before he was about to be shipped off to the Isle of Wight to be kept in a camp until the end of the war his house was bombed in one of the first air raids in London killing him and his daughter as they were prepareing a send off lunch for him. My great granmother had gone to get the food and came back to a pile of rubble.
I always watch the Rememberance Day ceremony it really moves me and it reminds me to be thankful. I agree with what someone said earlier there's not nearly enough poppies being worn this year which is pretty disgraceful. We have a lot to be thankful for and one day a year is not to much to ask.




Timon -> RE: We Will Remember Them (12/11/2007 11:23:50 AM)

Took me a hour walking round where I live last week to find a poppy. Shocking.




Sinatra -> RE: We Will Remember Them (12/11/2007 11:28:48 AM)

Harry... did he survive the war? when did he pass away?




Empitomezzo -> RE: We Will Remember Them (12/11/2007 12:02:53 PM)

That's a beautiful poem.




Harry Lime -> RE: We Will Remember Them (12/11/2007 12:26:07 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Sinatra

Harry... did he survive the war? when did he pass away?

Yep. He survived the war and died in 2002 aged 81. He always used to lay the wreath at the ceremony at our Grammar School every year. I remember him telling me that the most scared he had ever been was in Norway when they Germans literally chased them into the sea. He said he was convinced he was going to die that day.




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