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RE: We Will Remember Them - 12/11/2007 12:47:48 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
quote:

ORIGINAL: Empitomezzo

That's a beautiful poem.


Isn't it just? I never realised that the extract (emboldened in the OP) read at the Remembrance Service was from a longer poem - I thought it was something written for the service. I was googling for the exact passage and found the whole poem.

There are some amazing stories here - Harry, you must be so proud of your grandfather. I'm no less proud of my grandad for his work as a miner - that new BBC series CoalHouse highlights how bad conditions were - but it must have taken a special sort of person to not only go out to war, but prove themselves so brilliantly while out there.


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Post #: 31
RE: We Will Remember Them - 12/11/2007 12:50:44 PM   
Peppermint


Posts: 10421
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Sussex
There's a programme on Channel 4 tonight at 10pm about servicemen that came back and their experiences of coming home (I've explained that badly, as usual).

Anyway, I thought people might be interested in watching it.

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Post #: 32
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 12:05:07 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
We will remember them.


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Post #: 33
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 12:17:38 AM   
Donnie Murdo


Posts: 1199
Joined: 14/8/2006
From: Edinburgh
My great grandad signed up towards the start of WW1 (no conscription in Ireland), and was disappointed to be sent to Belfast as part of the Home Guard. So he went AWOL and signed back up under a different name so he could go abroad. He ended up as a stretcher-bearer, and was there on the first day of the Somme. He has a bunch of medals, all under the name James Harrison, the alias he used to rejoin. He died in 1996, aged 100.

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Post #: 34
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 12:23:50 AM   
Hood_Man


Posts: 12182
Joined: 30/9/2005
A mate of mine earlier this year, that both his grandfathers fought in the same battle (can't remember which) during WW2.  Thing is, one side of my mates family is British, the other German, so obviously they were fighting on opposite sides.

I know it's a serious matter, but we both found it funny (as did his grandparents) that the two men could have wiped out their family's future if they'd met on the battlefield, it's just such a crazy situation you know?


On a darker note, I haven't seen a single poppy this year, I even went into town looking for them one day, where were they?

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Post #: 35
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 12:48:18 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
I've seen loads. Had one for the last two weeks (and it stayed on - normally I have to buy a few!).

Here's one for the thread




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Post #: 36
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 1:30:52 AM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
I got a poppy at the train station. I will remember them.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

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Post #: 37
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 7:54:45 AM   
vader100


Posts: 2339
Joined: 30/9/2005
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.


It isn't ignored.The entire island of Malta, quite rightly and uniquely, was awarded the George Cross in recognition of it's sacrifice and bravery.

Every serviceman or woman, and their families, from WWI to present day have endured hardship, seperation and grief to defend this country and it's allies. We will remember them.

< Message edited by vader100 -- 11/11/2008 7:55:33 AM >


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Post #: 38
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 9:40:22 AM   
JessFranco


Posts: 2523
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: London
quote:

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.


Yes, i think my grandfather was the same. He was in the Desert Rats, fighting in North Africa and Italy, having lied about his age (i think he was sixteen) in order to sign up at the start of the war. He never liked to talk about it and went out of his way to avoid war films on TV.

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Post #: 39
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 9:49:32 AM   
Felix

 

Posts: 15692
Joined: 29/9/2005
From: Brighton
What a great thread.



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Post #: 40
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 9:57:06 AM   
Harley Quinn


Posts: 5797
Joined: 23/1/2008
From: Arkham
My Granddad fought in WW2 we never knew what he did, he died 10 years ago so it's unlikely we'll find out.  My step-dad's dad was a desert rat his medals are hung on the wall in my mum's house.

I go through about 10 poppies a year as I lose them and I can never get through the Remembrance service without sobbing.

Harry your grandfather sounds amazing.

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Post #: 41
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 10:08:08 AM   
Toby Monroe


Posts: 1561
Joined: 30/9/2005
My Granddad also spent time in North Africa. He'll be 88 on the 18th of this month.


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Post #: 42
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 10:23:30 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
After watching Parts 1 and 2 last night, I'm spending today watching the rest of Band of Brothers with a pause at 11am for two minutes. I know that Armistice Day was the end of the Great War, but Band of Brothers seems the most appropriate thing to watch, especially since I've never seen it before.




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Post #: 43
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 10:25:21 AM   
Kilo_T_Mortal


Posts: 13535
Joined: 30/9/2005
Has anyone been at St Pancras or somewhere with lots of people at 11 o'clock on the 11th of November? It's so odd, people just stop and go silent. It's really moving.

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Post #: 44
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 10:30:51 AM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
It's when traffic stops that is particularly moving. People just pull over to one side and stop. Incredibly moving.


Sadly there are always a few who don't stop, or carry on talking that spoils it.

When I worked in a call centre we would have calls diverted for the two minutes.


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Post #: 45
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 11:09:34 AM   
Harley Quinn


Posts: 5797
Joined: 23/1/2008
From: Arkham
GRRR some people make me want to put my foot in their arse. We had the annoncment for two minutes silence come over the tanoy, at work.  What did the people in the next office do?  All start talking about drivel that could wait for a two minutes.



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Post #: 46
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 11:24:05 AM   
Hobbitonlass

 

Posts: 11919
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Westeros
Could have heard a pin drop in our office.  Wonderful and very respectful.

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Post #: 47
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 11:31:40 AM   
Beno


Posts: 8131
Joined: 15/2/2007
From: Sheffield
I always listen to this piece of music at this time of year . It makes me think of my Grandad who served in WW1 when he was 17 . He survived it and came home and wasnt allowed to fight in WW2 . He raised me through childhood with my Grandma . She died when i was 11 so he continued alone with me till he died when i was 18 .
He often told me of his time in the war , recounting how it used to be so hot in the Desert that they could fry eggs on the bonnets of the vehicles they had and other recollections that werent so funny .
He was and always will be my only true hero . He was my Mother and my Father and i am a better person for having known him .

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=LSaYSKnAI7Q  Please listen .

< Message edited by Beno -- 11/11/2008 11:36:17 AM >


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Post #: 48
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 11:38:30 AM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
We don't really celebrate (is that the right word?) Armistice/Remembrance Day in New Zealand - rather, we have ANZAC Day in April each year to commemorate the fallen for New Zealand, and this year's the first year I missed a service, mainly because it was my first year at university and my sleep habits were all out of whack at that point. But last year, I had to deliver a speech at an ANZAC service at my high school about the Old Boys that died at Passchendaele, the clusterfuck that claimed so many and is now all but forgotten by most, and it didn't feel like a chore - it almost felt, I dunno, uplifting to be holding these people into the spotlight for everyone. The stuff I learned while researching that speech - I don't think I can ever really look at the war the same way I did, because up until last year, there were really no human faces for me to put to the wars (none of my family had fought, let alone died, in them), and that changed with that speech.

They deserve our respect, they deserve our time, they deserve our remembrance. In the morning, and at the going down of the sun, we will remember them.

Lest we forget.

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ORIGINAL: Rinc
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Post #: 49
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 11:42:40 AM   
Stewie_Griffin


Posts: 6968
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: St.Albans, Hertfordshire
quote:

ORIGINAL: Harley Quinn

GRRR some people make me want to put my foot in their arse. We had the annoncment for two minutes silence come over the tanoy, at work.  What did the people in the next office do?  All start talking about drivel that could wait for a two minutes.




Where i work, we didn't observe the two minute silence on Sunday, which was a shame. Like two minutes would bankrupt the company, yeah i'm sure.

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Post #: 50
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 12:07:03 PM   
MOTH

 

Posts: 3479
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Sittin' on the dock of the bay
Northern Ireland provides an interesting little environment at this time of year.

Poppy wearing, since they in part honour soldiers who fought in the Troubles, has been inevitably linked to the political situation here, meaning that a poppy is now seen predominantly as a mark of allegiance to the Queen, rather than a memorial thing. Hence, few Catholics wear one, whilst many Protestants do and there's a slightly uneasy peace that hangs over the whole thing for a week or two.

As an example of the deep-rooted issues at work here, there was a row about that young lad Eoghan Quigg of the X-Factor (from a mostly nationalist hometown) wearing one, with some claiming it was abhorrent to force a young Catholic lad to participate in singing on a single supporting British troops, and others calling him a traitor for doing it. Unionists weren't slow to jump on the bandwagon either - a week later, at a contentious parade in Belfast honouring homecoming soldiers, supporters of the parade shamefully disrespected both Quigg and the intent of the parade when they held aloft a banner stating ‘Eoghan Quigg and The X Factor Supports Our Troops’.
Ironically, the X-Factor powers-that-be had no qualms asking his family to refrain from wearing their Gaelic football tops, because they come from a club which is named after one of the hunger strikers and may cause offence. (Of course, I realise anything in the news to do with the X-Factor must be treated with the suspicion of vote-gathering, publicity and marketing, but that's for another time)





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Post #: 51
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 1:44:33 PM   
clownfoot


Posts: 7919
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: The ickle town of Fuck, Austria
So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned, both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake, and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets the trenches there,
And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.

But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.


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Post #: 52
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 1:52:29 PM   
Harley Quinn


Posts: 5797
Joined: 23/1/2008
From: Arkham
This makes me cry, everytime I read it.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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Post #: 53
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 2:21:26 PM   
Beno


Posts: 8131
Joined: 15/2/2007
From: Sheffield
UNTITLED
 
The glamour gone , some scattered graves and memories dim remain
With his old pals across the field , he'll never trek again
But yet there's nothing he regrets as he awaits his call
For what was done ..or lost ..or won , he did his bit - that's all .

Sergeant 4486 .

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Post #: 54
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 2:32:46 PM   
M


Posts: 1632
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Kilwinnkie
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.


Do you know which unit he was in James?  My grandfather, who died before I was born unfortunately, was in No.4 Commando - one of the units that landed on Sword Beach on D-Day.  That's the unit that was lead by Lord Lovat and tasked to capture the Pegasus Bridge (as seen in The Longest Day, with Lovat played by Peter Lawford).

I've only got a few of the stories second hand, but one particularly chilling one was the capture of a number of Hitler Youth.  As one of the boys had apporached the commandos, with his hands behind his head, my grandfather gunned him down.  My grandfather had spotted the boy clenching a grenade, ready to drop it in the mass of soldiers.  When I heard that story for the first time, in my early to mid-teens, I was deeply unsettled that someone in my family had killed somone, a boy, of around my own age.  But what other option was there? 

War is too often portrayed in black-and-white, good-versus-evil accounts, but the madness of what occurs when humans are degraded by killing one another should never be forgotten either. 



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Post #: 55
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 3:58:00 PM   
Chief Wiggum


Posts: 1919
Joined: 30/9/2005


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.


It was quite similar with my Grandfather, I had an inkling that he was in the SAS*, but the only story I ever heard was a second hand tale of an argument between his troop about how to position a dying comrade so he would be most comfortable whilst he passed away. I never knew until after he died that at the time he was helping the Partisans in Italy. What came as a total amazement to us after his death was that before he joined the SAS he was in the Navy and was at the sinking of the Bismarck (where he managed to do something that had him court martialled and thrown out, hence why he went on to join the army). mind you he put all that SAS training to good use even after the war, he managed to smoke every day of his life despite my grandmother's belief that he'd given up in the early 80's.

His Brother, my great uncle was awarded the MM and (I believe) the MC at Dunkirk for leading a group of pursuing German troops (that eventually captured him) one way whilst his platoon escaped the other way. He spent the rest of the war in POW camps, ending up in Colditz of all places.

On my Paternal side, I don't know what my Grandfather did (he died when my dad was 12) but my step-grandfather was a pilot for the LRDG and my great uncle was in the marines and was part of the assault on Cyprus that went so badly that he ended up punching his CO in the face, which ended any chance of further promotion.



*One thing that I thought was exemplary was that even 60 years after he'd left the regiment, a representative of the regiment was at his funeral.

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Post #: 56
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 4:15:11 PM   
themightyhutch


Posts: 3715
Joined: 18/2/2007
From: surrey
My Grandad fought inWWII for the polish army, and became a POW in auschwitz. He only survived because he insisted on having a run every morning (even in the biting cold), and was deemed physically fit enough for him to do work for the Germans, and was kept alive as a result of it.

My Grans twin brother also fought in WWII but unfortunatly died.

On sunday I was involved in my school CCF's (combined cadet force - kinda like army sort of training at school) remeberance service. It consisted of all of us standing there in one position for about 40 minutes in the cold, standing still, while the service went on, but to be honest it wasn't a problem for me, and was completely worth it.

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Post #: 57
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 4:33:28 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20118
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
Some of my favourite war poetry:

Anthem For Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries 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 good-byes.
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.


Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep.  Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod.  All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas!  GAS!  Quick, boys! --  An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime. --
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, --
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie:  Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.


Both Wilfred Owen


I also particularly like the anthem, 'Greater Love' by John Ireland, as I used to sing in a cathedral choir. Sure, the words are from the bible, but I agree with the main sentiment of, 'greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends'.

Greater Love (various biblical sources)

Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can the floods drown it.
Love is strong as death.
Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own Body on the tree,
that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.

Ye are washed, ye are sanctified,
ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
that ye should shew forth the praises
of him who hath called you out of darkness
into his marvellous light.

I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.

Click for a link to a youtube video of the piece being performed.
Beautiful piece.






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Post #: 58
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 4:53:48 PM   
Fanboyslayer


Posts: 2455
Joined: 22/11/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: JessFranco

quote:

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.


Yes, i think my grandfather was the same. He was in the Desert Rats, fighting in North Africa and Italy.


My Grandad was one of the men rescued from the beaches at Dunkirk.  Later he was a desert Rat too. Fought in Egypt. I don't think he ever spoke about it and I'm not sure he was ever right after it all not sure he ever readjusted to life outside of the army. I really must do some research and find out more details.

My other Grandad fought in Japan and was in a POW camp. I should ask him about it but I'm not 100% sure I want to know the details.

Heroes all of them. I think two minutes of silence is the least we can do to show our respect.



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Post #: 59
RE: We Will Remember Them - 11/11/2008 5:32:10 PM   
sharkboy


Posts: 6286
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: Belfast
quote:

ORIGINAL: M


I've only got a few of the stories second hand, but one particularly chilling one was the capture of a number of Hitler Youth.  As one of the boys had apporached the commandos, with his hands behind his head, my grandfather gunned him down.  My grandfather had spotted the boy clenching a grenade, ready to drop it in the mass of soldiers.  When I heard that story for the first time, in my early to mid-teens, I was deeply unsettled that someone in my family had killed somone, a boy, of around my own age.  But what other option was there? 


Who says suicide bombers are a recent phenomenon, eh?

Huge kudos to homer for starting this great thread and for all who have contributed.  My own grandfather was in the RAF during the war, a sergeant in a maintenance crew based initially at RAF Scampton, where the famous 617 Squadron of Dambusters fame was based, before moving to Brize Norton.  He'd been shipped out to India by the time of the raid, but met Guy Gibson on a couple of occasions.  Needless to say the movie of the raid was mandatory viewing in the household whenever it came on TV! 

After the war he was sent over to the German town of Celle for the clean-up and rebuilding.  When he left Belfast for Scampton my grandmother was heavily pregnant with my mum.  The next time he saw her, he had a 4-year old daughter.  A career serviceman, he stayed in the RAF after the war and was part of the crew that carried out Britain's first successful hydrogen bomb tests at Christmas Island.  As a kid I used to love leafing through his photo albums from his time in India, but it was only towards the end of his life that he really started opening up about his experiences.  His stories of how they were protected (and I use that term loosely) fron one the largest explosions the world had seen at that point still fill me with amazement and incredulity.


_____________________________

WWLD?

Every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless

I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.

(in reply to M)
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