You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Remembrance Sunday’ tag.

November 11, 2018 marks the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Fittingly, it is Remembrance Sunday, commemorated in the UK and parts of the Commonwealth.

I have a number of Remembrance Day posts from previous years that readers might wish to peruse.

It is good that we still wear poppies, which come in for criticism every year, sadly. Alexander Owen, who served for 10 years in the Blues and Royals and now works at the Royal British Legion as Head of Armed Forces Engagement, recently wrote an article for The Independent‘s inews, excerpted below (emphases mine):

The ways that this generation changed our world are many and all-encompassing. War does not discriminate, and nor should the poppy.

The poppy has never been more inclusive, open and hopeful than in this Armistice Centenary Year. This November we should thank the entire generation of the First World War who served, sacrificed and changed our world, as this is the last chance to do so. But as a nation we must ensure that we follow the example they set 100 years ago and maintain the poppy as a symbol of hope and inclusivity. Wearing a poppy is a personal choice that must not be enforced. To do so would undermine its entire meaning.

It is sad that such an article even needs to be written. I also would have changed the word ‘should’ to ‘does’ in the first highlighted sentence.

That said, the Royal British Legion is helping to teach schoolchildren about the Great War, as it is also called, via a new book from author and playwright Michael Morpurgo:

Walter ‘Wally’ Randall, 103, is the nation’s oldest Poppy Appeal collector and has no intention of hanging up his collection tin just yet. The Royal British Legion reports:

He served in the service corps during World War Two before he later held the positions of both branch chairman and club chairman for the Leighton Buzzard Royal British Legion.

Wally is the proud recipient of a lifetime certificate for services to the local branch and has showed no signs of hanging up his collection tin yet.

He said: “I’m going to keep on selling poppies while I’ve still got the energy to do it. I’m lucky because I get to sit inside the entrance of Wilkos [a retail chain] in the warm.

He added: “My favourite thing about selling poppies is people’s generosity – when someone puts money in but says ‘I’ve already got a poppy’. It’s very gratifying.”

He appeared on morning television a few days ago:

A star-studded concert, the Festival of Remembrance, took place at Saturday night at the Royal Albert Hall:

Television adverts have appeared, thanking those who fought, died and innovated for their service, sacrifice and dedication:

The Duke of Cambridge offered this tribute:

Every One Remembered is an excellent site that has a photo montage of the British and Commonwealth men and women who died between 1914 and 1918.

Director Peter Jackson has taken painstaking time to colourise film from the Great War, which really reminds us of the truly personal — and deadly — story that it was:

There are also lesser known tragic stories, such as that of the Titanic newsboy:

A BT.com article, ‘May’s Armistice centenary tribute to First World War dead’s “immense sacrifices”‘, has a set of maps that shows how Europe’s national boundaries changed after 1918.

Prime Minister Theresa May was in France on Friday, November 9, to commemorate the war’s fallen with French President Emmanuel Macron. She also visited Belgium.

The article also highlights other ceremonies taking place this weekend in France and in London:

On Sunday, a bugle will sound at the French graveside of war poet Wilfred Owen, marking 100 years since his death on November 4 1918, just seven days shy of peace being declared.

Elizabeth Owen, the widow of his nephew Peter, will attend a ceremony in Ors, in the north of the country, where the instrument – which was taken from a dead German soldier – will be used to play The Last Post.

Meanwhile, at the Tower of London on Sunday evening, about 10,000 flames will be lit, in remembrance of those who fought and died in the war.

The light display installation, called Beyond the Deepening Shadow, will run each evening up to and including on Armistice Day.

The light installation at the Tower of London opened on Sunday, November 4. BT.com has more on the story, including photos:

Around 10,000 flames have filled the empty moat encircling the Tower of London to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

A ceremonial Beefeater guard began the lighting ceremony by bringing a flame down from the tower into the moat, which had been submerged in smoke.

Dozens of representatives from the armed forces and volunteers then used the flame to ignite thousands of other torches staked into or placed on the ground underneath the tower, bathing the barren moat in light …

It took around 45 minutes to light the flames, which then burn for roughly four hours.

The ceremony was accompanied by a specially commissioned sound installation featuring choral music, as well as words from war poet Mary Borden’s Sonnets To A Soldier.

The ceremony was “amazing”, according to Dick Harrold, governor of the Tower of London.

One hundred years after this horrific war ended — which saw the beginning of modern technical warfare — we seem to have forgotten the importance of war memorials, such as this one, which is being contested in the United States:

And we should think about what sort of children we have raised. Would they have been able to march to war, as 15- and 16-year-olds did a century ago — as volunteers?

In closing, there are two outcomes of the war that I remember reading about over the past four years, as each year from 2015 to 2018 in Britain has seen a number of documentaries, books and articles recalling what happened a century ago.

One result of the Great War was a generation of spinsters here in the UK and elsewhere. How heartbreaking it must have been not only for war widows but young women who lost their boyfriends and fiancés to brutal fighting on the front lines.

The second was a total transformation of house building here in the UK, as many traditional skills were no longer available because so many in those trades lost their lives on the battlefield.

We are currently redecorating our house, built at the turn of the last century. I look at the keyed lime plaster we are uncovering and say a prayer for those souls who so freely gave of their todays for our tomorrows. (Every man from the age of 15 to 50 was recorded under the Military Service Bill and, barring poor health, was potentially conscripted.)

Most certainly in our household we will remember.

May God bless ‘The Glorious Dead’, as inscribed on the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London.

May we be eternally grateful for all their sacrifices for our freedom a century on.

Advertisements

Although November 11 is Remembrance Day, November 12, 2017 is Remembrance Sunday in the UK, making this a poignant weekend of remembrance.

The following are tweets on #Remembrance.

Before I get to them, November 10, 2017 marked the centenary of Passchendaele. Historian Dan Snow explains the final days. This is worth listening to:

The Royal British Legion website summarises this horrific months-long battle:

Fought between July and November 1917, Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, remains one of the most notorious battles of the First World War. In three-and-a-half months of fighting, an advance of less than five miles saw an estimated 550,000 Allied and German troops killed, wounded or lost.

Around 90,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were missing; 50,000 buried without being identified, and 42,000 never recovered from the Belgian fields of Flanders that turned into an ocean of mud.

The 100th anniversary of Passchendaele provides an opportunity to view WW1 in a new way and commemorate the Service and sacrifice of those who lost their lives.

The Irish Times has more, beginning with this:

In October 1917 the Canadian commander-in-chief Sir Arthur Currie arrived in Flanders to be told that his men would have to take the village of Passchendaele.

Currie was aghast at what his orders meant. After four months of fighting in terrible conditions, Flanders was a stinking sty of a place, a hellhole of water-filled craters, withered tree stumps and an ocean of mud.

Unburied bodies were everywhere. When the ground did not yield, soldiers knew they were walking on the corpse of a man.

Friend and foe alike were repulsed by the ghastly conditions in which the British and their Commonwealth allies were locked into a death grip with the German defenders. One Canadian infantryman said none acquainted with their ultimate goal expected to come back alive. “Each and every man felt it was a sure death trap”.

Ireland was still British then:

The last day of Passchendaele took a terrible toll on the Irish too. The 1st battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers was part of the 1st Division and it was pressed into the attack in support of the Canadians.

The Munsters’ official history recorded the men walking in the pitch dark and the pouring rain to their starting positions. The soil had the consistency of glue and yet the men were forced to carry with them a full marching pack, rations for three days, 150 rounds of ammunitions, two Mills bombs and two water bottles.

“Never have troops gone into action carrying a heavier load under worse conditions,” the history concludes. “They pressed forward in mud-bespattered, bloodstained, sodden groups.”

The attack began at 6am on November 10th, 1917, in the most horrendous conditions imaginable. The men were quickly up to their waists in mud.

We connect the Great War with poppies, thanks to In Flanders Fields, about which I wrote last year. John McCrea fought in the Second Battle of Ypres.

Hence their significance then — and now:

People from one town in the North East of England got together to knit poppies this year. This is a great video:

One lady in Doncaster crocheted poppies:

Here is a moving photo from the Second World War. In the midst of battle, these brave men took time to worship:

Men of faith fought and died for freedom:

They came from all over the Commonwealth:

Some people just don’t understand — including the Labour Party leader:

Yet, those who forget — or never learn their — history are doomed to repeat it.

The sacrifices were imponderable:

Those brave men and women gave their tomorrow for our today:

Which is why so many remembrance ceremonies take place around the world this time every year:

In closing:

(Forbidden Bible Verses will appear tomorrow.)

Remembrance Sunday, commemorated at the Cenotaph in London’s Whitehall, is always a moving experience, even if we watch it at home on BBC1.

This year, on November 8, 2015, 10,500 old soldiers, women’s auxiliaries, nurses, many others who served the United Kingdom in conflict and their families participated in the march-past.

One wreath-bearer was 100 years old. Another was 89, the youngest in his band of brothers from the Second World War. Yet another was blind. Those who could walk did so in military fashion. Those who were in wheelchairs sat up straight. Many of these men are elderly, some in great pain, no doubt. Yet, just as they did on the battlefield or on ship, they gave not a thought for themselves. They came to remember.

The array of berets, caps, medals, uniforms and wreaths is an incredible sight to behold. They really bring home a sense of history, heritage and shared memory that all these men and women have. Some make a weekend out of it, getting together with friends in the days beforehand to share a meal and remember their fallen comrades as well as the happier times.

The BBC’s Sophie Raworth interviewed a number of the veterans. One said that, during the two-minute silence, a flood of emotional memories raced through his mind: recalling friends who were killed, his relief at being liberated from a German POW camp in 1945 and the incredible joy he felt arriving home that year to embrace his family, whom he thought he’d never see again.

Others said that the two-minute silence completely enveloped Whitehall, seemingly unimaginable with the thousands of spectators lining the march-past route between the Cenotaph and Horse Guards Parade. It was solemn and sad. Yet, afterward, the veterans did as they always do, remember the good times, even in battle. Their comradeship, good humour and dignity are incredible things to see. We have been blessed to have their determination, integrity and courage. That goes doubly for those these 10,500 men and women travelled from far and wide — including Africa — to remember: those who gave their todays that we might have a tomorrow.

Like millions of other Britons, I wear my poppy with gratitude and reflection for those who died for our freedom.

May we never forget the sacrifices those brave men and women made on our behalf.

May we observe two minutes of silence on Remembrance Day, November 11 — Armistice Day — when the Great War came to an end. It had horrors no one could have contemplated. It was to be the war that ended all wars. And yet, the Second World War followed only two decades later.

In closing, if you have not seen a Remembrance Sunday ceremony, these two YouTube videos will give you a better idea of the sheer scale and ceremony involved.

The first is from 2014 and shows the beginning of the wreath laying, with the Queen placing the first at the foot of the Cenotaph:

The second shows the march-past — from 2011 — which follows the wreaths laid by the Queen, members of the Royal Family, politicians and Commonwealth dignitaries:

Yesterday, November 11, 2014, French talk radio host Eric Brunet (RMC) discussed and debated Remembrance Day with his guests — two historians — and several callers.

Remembrance Sunday

Brunet and his family were in London at the weekend to see our Remembrance Sunday commemoration in person. One of his callers also travelled from France to be in our capital on that day.

Both said how dignified the ceremony was. They discussed whether France should adopt a similar remembrance.

I have only ever seen it on the BBC. It is an incredibly moving commemoration such that I have watched it annually for nearly 25 years. To give my overseas readers an idea what it is like, the Daily Mail has an excellent article accompanied by a selection of photographs. You will feel as if you had been there.

The ceremony begins with a solemn remembrance of the soldiers for the first hour. Massed bands play classical dirges and laments, a two-minute silence is observed at 11 a.m. and wreaths are laid at the foot of the Cenotaph. The Queen lays the first wreath, followed by members of the Royal Family, who have all served in the Armed Forces or Royal Navy. The Prime Minister and political party leaders each present one, followed by the many Commonwealth High Commissioners. The Bishop of London conducts a brief service. Afterward, he, the Queen and dignitaries leave in silence.

The walk past of veterans then begins. The massed bands turn to upbeat, morale-boosting marches and popular songs from the First and Second World Wars. Each group presents a wreath to be laid at the Cenotaph.

The BBC’s David Dimbleby emphasised this year that this has never been a military march, but an opportunity for those who have served Britain to collectively remember their comrades who died in war and to share memories of the battlefield.

There has been talk now and then whether Remembrance Sunday should continue. However, several thousand veterans and bystanders attend every year. The televised broadcast lasts nearly two hours. This year, the centenary of the beginning of the Great War seems to have captured the public imagination. Not only did more than 10,000 veterans participate, many of them elderly, but thousands more spectators who lined the pavement.

Whilst the national remembrance takes place in London, smaller ceremonies and services take place up and down the country at local war memorials.

Should other countries like France adopt a similar ceremony to that at the Cenotaph? Remembrance Sunday is uniquely British. The French have their own commemorations. This year, President François Hollande was at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe before inaugurating a new, traditional monument at Notre Dame de Lorette, near the site of the three battles of Artois, which took place between 1914 and 1915. As many French soldiers died in those battles as in Verdun. The new monument lists the names of 580,000 troops from France and her colonies who died during the Great War.

The important thing is that we never forget. Ceremonies of remembrance help to keep these sacrifices of courage and valour intact.

Poppies or cornflowers?

In Britain, the tradition is for members of the public to wear poppies from the first of November through to Remembrance Day on the 11th. This tradition begins in October on television, particularly the BBC, where guests receive poppies prior to being interviewed. Whilst viewers have criticised this as overkill — why not just start in November, as is customary? — I find it useful to begin contemplating our national day of remembrance before the event.

In France, a few people wear cornflowers (bleuets) instead of poppies. This article from Le Monde shows François Hollande with one; note that the onlookers behind him are not wearing them.

In another article, Le Monde‘s ClĂ©ment Martel explains why the French chose this wildflower, also present in the Great War battlefields. As we have the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’, the French have ‘Bleuets de France‘. And there is more to the story:

… the cornflower is less well known in France than its British counterpart. In addition to being a symbol of life despite the many deaths, ‘cornflowers’ was the name given to new soldiers arriving in their still-immaculate sky blue uniforms. It was in 1925 when it became a symbol with an initiative from two nurses: Charlotte Malleterre et Suzanne Leenhardt created the ‘Bleuet de France‘, the proceeds of which would go to the upkeep of those injured in the Great War. Residents of Les Invalides [originally a military hospital, as its name implies] made cornflowers out of fabric …

Beginning in 1934, the flowers the veterans made were sold on the streets and, the following year, the government made official the sale of cornflowers on Remembrance Day … Since then, the cornflowers have been made by the disabled. If the tradition has been slowly lost, it came back in 2012, when Nicholas Sarkozy championed a law declaring that November 11 commemorate ‘the remembrance of all France’s [war] dead, not just those from the Great War’.

The difference in charitable giving differs dramatically between Britain, where poppies are de rigueur, and France, where the cornflower is worn much less often.

The paper reports that the British Legion collects the equivalent of €49.8m whereas the Bleuets de France makes only €1.1m.

Another commemoration which has captured France’s imagination is the dramatic field of poppies around the Tower of London, more about which in another post this week.

We will remember.

[picapp src=”d/2/c/7/Remembrance_Sunday_985e.jpg?adImageId=7260002&imageId=6993570″ width=”396″ height=”594″ /] [picapp src=”a/2/d/0/Remembrance_Sunday_5894.jpg?adImageId=7260202&imageId=6992542″ width=”396″ height=”594″ /] [picapp src=”1/7/5/c/Remembrance_Sunday_a711.jpg?adImageId=7260011&imageId=6992508″ width=”500″ height=”333″ /] [picapp src=”3/c/0/e/Remembrance_Sunday_a000.jpg?adImageId=7260275&imageId=6992443″ width=”396″ height=”594″ /] [picapp src=”8/e/2/f/Remembrance_Sunday_63cf.jpg?adImageId=7260013&imageId=6992302″ width=”500″ height=”333″ /] [picapp src=”0/b/8/5/Remembrance_Sunday_4b17.jpg?adImageId=7260060&imageId=6992587″ width=”500″ height=”283″ /] [picapp src=”4/a/2/7/Remembrance_Sunday_c167.jpg?adImageId=7259942&imageId=6992277″ width=”500″ height=”361″ /] [picapp src=”3/f/2/5/Remembrance_Sunday_32a8.jpg?adImageId=7260032&imageId=6992311″ width=”500″ height=”302″ /] [picapp src=”c/9/6/e/Remembrance_Sunday_ed9a.jpg?adImageId=7260048&imageId=6992308″ width=”500″ height=”325″ /] [picapp src=”8/f/4/c/Remembrance_Sunday_938c.jpg?adImageId=7260027&imageId=6992304″ width=”500″ height=”512″ /]

[picapp src=”6/8/0/6/Remembrance_Sunday_4d9c.jpg?adImageId=7260154&imageId=6992448″ width=”398″ height=”594″ /] 

Lest we forget.

© Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 2009-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? If you wish to borrow, 1) please use the link from the post, 2) give credit to Churchmouse and Churchmouse Campanologist, 3) copy only selected paragraphs from the post — not all of it.
PLAGIARISERS will be named and shamed.
First case: June 2-3, 2011 — resolved

Creative Commons License
Churchmouse Campanologist by Churchmouse is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://churchmousec.wordpress.com/.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,193 other followers

Archive

Calendar of posts

November 2018
S M T W T F S
« Oct    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

http://martinscriblerus.com/

Bloglisting.net - The internets fastest growing blog directory
Powered by WebRing.
This site is a member of WebRing.
To browse visit Here.

Blog Stats

  • 1,395,540 hits
Advertisements