musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: 11/11/1918

Remembrance Day 2013

I must admit that I am pleased to see the many Poppies on display in Southampton and Salisbury, it brings the whole Remembrance Day closer to me as as we approach the 11th of November. Back in South Africa such displays were rare, and even finding a poppy to buy was difficult. Alas, many of They do not grow old, as we grow old those who used to stand in the shopping malls with their medals and collection boxes have passed on, and a lot of the ex servicemen groups closed ranks as their membership slowly died off. And then of course we had the case of a shopping centre in Sandton that would not allow poppy sellers in its ivory towers, perhaps they thought that these men did not fit in with the yuppie crowd that they wanted in their mall. Yuppies do not seem to die in wars.
 
Coming back to reality though, as an ex national serviceman myself, I too have lost friends during my period in the military, so I wear a poppy for them too. This past year I saw a photograph of one of the boys we lost, and it was like seeing a ghost. I recall the sorrow I felt when I finally found his grave, and it is as important to remember him on the 11th too.
 
There will be a parade and wreath laying in Southampton tomorrow, and I will probably be lurking in the background somewhere with my camera. 
I just hope that the weather plays its part too. I may also head across to Southampton Old Cemetery to attend their service, but again that is all weather dependent. 

Cross of Sacrifice, Southampton Old Cemetery.

Irrespective of where I will be though, I will be a part of the brotherhood of military veterans. A select group of people who “served their country”, although in the case of the South Africa it appears as if we really just wasted our time. 
 
My association with South African War Graves Project will also bear fruit as the database will finally be going live on the 11th. It has been a long road to get to this point, and we still have a ways to travel.
 
I know this is a very jumbled collection of words for such an important day, but I can’t quite get a coherent sentence out because there is such a lot of significance to this week of November in my life that often I can only really touch bases here and there. . 
 
In Memory of:
Robert Owen Turner. Died in Egypt WW2.
Matt Slabbert Died in France 1918
Herbert “Bertie” Turner. Deville Wood Survivor
David Leonard Walker. WW2 survivor.
Rfn Van Der Kolf. E Company 11 Commando. 1980
Rfn Peter Hall. B Company 61 Mech Bn Grp
Rfn Lionel van Rooyen. B Company 61 Mech Bn Grp
Cpl Johann Potgieter B Company 61 Mech Bn Grp.
 

 

© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 14/04/2016

Updated: 29/12/2017 — 07:51

Remembrance Day 2012

11 November fell on a Sunday today, and 11 November is when we remember those who paid the supreme sacrifice in aid of what?
 
World War1, touted to be “The War To End All Wars” was really a practice round for the carnage to come. It was also an exercise in how to throw lives away. In my record card research I often see the effects of that carnage so many years ago. Men who were severely wounded, or who would suffer from the effects of gas, or “shell shock”. Men who would survive the war, only to die in the flu epidemic of 1918, or from the effects of their service overseas. 
 
My record cards do not mention how this service affected their families, apart from a notation about a pension denied, or a grant given, campaign medals issued, or maybe just the name of the next of kin. In quite a few cases I have found the record cards of the soldier whose grave I photographed, and sometimes I have to remind myself that these were really real people, and not just a card with a name and abbreviated military history.
 
If my war grave photography has taught me one thing; then it has taught me that the military is an extremely efficient killing machine. 
 
So today I will display my poppy with pride because I am remembering all those who never came home, and those who are no longer with us.  I remember my grandfather who survived the slaughter of  Delville Wood, and I remember my Uncle who is buried far away, and my late father who wore the poppy with pride and who was captured at Sidi Rezegh. I remember those who have no known grave, and those who came home broken. And, I will continue to do so as long as I am able, because it is important, and because we must never let this happen again.

 

In  Memory of Herbert Turner, Robert Owen Turner and David Walker.  Lest we Forget.

 
© DRW. 2012-2018. Images recreated 26/03/2016

Updated: 26/12/2017 — 15:43
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