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Remembrance Sunday
At the Going Down of the Sun, and in the Morning, We Will Remember Them

The Great War 1918~2018
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The First World War   |   The Trenches   |   Film: They Shall Not Grow Old   |   Poor Fools...   |   In Flanders Fields
 


 

The Great War 1914~1918: Articles and Videos   |   The Second World War: Articles and Videos

The Second World War: Quotes and Comments   |   Poems for the Fallen   |   The Poppy   |   Books and Websites

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The Last Post

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends"
(John 15:13)

 

 

The First World War: The Great War


"My mother, born in 1905, lived in the giant shadow of that war. Her father and two elder brothers, just young lads, died in the first year of that war ... my mother, then aged 10, and her two older sisters were put in the workhouse here in Norwich. She remained there until she was 18. It in reality was a prison system. My mother often related this tragic episode in her life. Thankfully that workhouse system ended in 1948. Many throughout the world at that time who never saw battle in that war, were nonetheless victims of it"
[viewer's comment at source].


"When I was a child of about 9 or 10 years old, I used to stay with a bedridden old man while his wife travelled by bus to the nearest town to do her weekly shopping trip. He was on death's door and mostly slept, while I sat on a chair by his bed. What fascinated me though, were the clusters of medals which hung from a nail on his bedroom wall. In one of his lucid moments I asked him about them. He told me they were from his times in The Great War, and in the Irish War for Independence. He showed me a scarred hollow in the side of his neck, which he received when a shell hit his trench in France. He died a little after that ... His wife had a great big medal hanging from a nail on the stair wall, and I also asked her about it. She cried as she told me of how it was awarded posthumously to her 19 year old brother who died at The Somme. The couple are all but forgotten now, and as I write this, their little cottage is being bulldozed to make way for progress"
[viewer's comment at source].


"My grandfather just recently passed away and what always hits me is how different the British were back then. He hates what has become of England today but I'm happy he got to vote leave; just wish he got to see England free again. The work ethic, intelligence, manliness is the polar opposite of Britain today. He was a gentleman and always honest ... Britain is a really messed up place now ... British values and culture has all but gone"
[viewer's comment at source].


"My grandad, 83, knew many family members who fought in World War One. One was captured by the Germans, they were going to shoot his leading officer who was wounded and he begged them not to, so they made him carry him on his back for miles till they reached the place they were going to be held prisoner till they could be moved elsewhere. He carried him for miles, just to reach the end of the journey, place him down, and find he was already dead"
[viewer's comment at source].


"I remember as a boy my great grandfather, still sharp of mind, standing next to him at our little cenotaph on July 1st in our little town with the captured German howitzers flanking it. I remember him laying down the wreath as they called out the names of his brothers and cousins who never came home after that fateful day; the Big July Drive. At Gallipoli, he scaled its cliffs and was one of the last men to leave the peninsula. At the Somme, he raced forward with his friends and brothers beside him until he was thee last man still standing. Auchonvillers, Langemarck, Monchy, Passchendaele, Arras... again and again he faced death until he was one of a small handful of men to come home to out small seaside town. His son would do the same when his turn came. Dieppe, Caen, Verriers Ridge, Falaise, The Scheldt, and the Hochwald Gap. Names and places etched in fire and blood in the heart of our people. The magnitude of our loss is almost incomprehensible to grasp. I hope Britain wakes up from its dreadful slumber"
[viewer's comment at source].


"My great great uncle fought in both world wars and turned down promotion to stand and fight with his fellow men. Something that has been lost amongst these so-called men these days"
[viewer's comment at source].

 

The Trenches


"As we left the trenches, I noticed a loud wailing sound like huge wet fingers being dragged across an enormous glass pane. It rose and fell, interminable, unbearable, and as we turned an angle of the trench I saw where it came from. All along a muddy sunken roadway they lay, hundreds of sounded, brown blanket shapes, some shouting, some moaning, some singing in delirium ... The sound of their cries had a uniform level of muted anguish and despair. During the night they'd become little boys again and were crying in the heat for their mothers, for help, for water, for death, for God, in a vast and terrible monotone, while an elderly staff officer moved about them trying to tell them it was worth it as we'd won" [John Harris, Covenant With Death, quoted at source].

 

Film: They Shall Not Grow Old


"As [Brian Jackson] says [the Great War] is personal to probably every family in Britain and the Commonwealth. When I saw the change from black and white to colour, I almost cried. And possibly somewhere in this documentary will be a Great Uncle of mine that was killed in the support trenches on his way to the front at the Somme, Pt Arthur Harry Drew. We will re member them"
[viewer's comment at source].


"I'd love to see [this film] ... seeing what my great uncle, Leland Stanford Westover, saw during his time in the great war. He lied about his age only to be K.I.A. at Vimy Ridge April 9, 1917. He was 18 when he died fighting with the 38th Eastern Ontario Regiment of Canada"
[viewer's comment at source].

 

Poor Fools...

"Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks.
Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools.
And their grandchildren are once more slaves."

 

In Flanders Fields

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.

John McCrae, MD,
Canadian Army (1872-1918)

 

 

 

"[T]he foe of which John McCrae wrote were not the people in the opposite trenches.
The foe were tyranny and dictatorship ... our soldiers knew this ...
Yes, we have indeed dropped the torch! Yes, we have indeed broken faith with those who died and lie in Flanders Fields! ...
and yes, we will have to bear the consequences in the years to come..."

[source]

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

 

 

Please note that the inclusion of any quotation or item on this page does not imply we would necessarily endorse the source from which the extract is taken; neither can we necessarily vouch for any other materials by the same authors, or any groups or ministries or websites with which they may be associated, or any periodicals to which they may contribute, or the beliefs of whatever kind they may hold, or any other aspect of their work or ministry or position.

Elizabeth McDonald     https://www.bayith.org     bayith@blueyonder.co.uk