Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A message to my grandchildren

On the 11th November 1918, at 11 o'clock in the morning what was then known as 'The Great War' came to an end. It was only 'Great' in scale and death. To give the numbers of those killed some meaning of the twenty two members of schoolboy cricket teams that played each other before the war started sixteen were dead when it ended. In 1921 the Royal British Legion was started to help soldiers sailors and airmen who needed help and to make sure that people that came after them like you and me never forgot the horror of this war and the wars that were to come after it.

On Friday this week for the first time we will be remembering the end of this war at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year. It will not happen again for 100yrs. Main services to remember the dead of all war will be on the nearest Sunday - the 13th.

All war is bad but not all are wrong. Some, like the war between 1939 and 1945, when I was a boy, are necessary because of a great evil. We wear a poppy to show that we care about those who put their lives and their future at risk to go and fight and often die or are very badly hurt.

My family, and so your family were lucky. My grandfather fought in South Africa and the Sudan over 100 years ago. He died in 1913 of an illness. He was 34 yrs old. I had two uncles who survived the Great War. My father was just too old and unfit for 1939 - 1945 & he was a fireman during the bombing of London. He survived. I had another uncle who was left behind to repair aircraft. The ship he should have been on was sunk and 1400 men died.

I hope on Sunday at 11 o'clock you will just be quiet for a few moments and if you see people, especially older people, you will treat them with kindness and respect. I'm sure you will.

No comments: