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Sir Nibble

We will remember them.

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My Father who was English was in the Merchant Navy.Like others have mentioned of their relatives he didn't talk a lot of some of the terrible things he had seen during the war.Some of the things he did on rare occasions tell us about were funny,and some horrific.I'm grateful to anyone that served in any of the forces in any war to make or try to make our lives better even if the people that sent them there were wrong.C0jeEO6s.jpg

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Whilst in Brittany this summer, with our Twinning Association, we were taken to 2 Resistance Memorials, and the stories at those were frightening and saddening, and for them and my paternal grandfather who was torpedoed and drowned off Zeebrugge on a collier out of Cardiff, within the first 2 weeks of WW2, I sat quietly at 1100 this morning.

 

My father served with the Gurkhas, on attachment from the Pay Corp, in Northern India and parachuted into Burma, and would say very little about his service except for when in India. He loved the Gurkhas, would hear nothing against them, but always admitted that they were the most vicious soldiers he ever met and that the Japanese were scared of them.

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Good Countryfile program tonight.

Yes indeed - at least, the parts of it which I caught (I was on roasting duty in the kitchen). The article about the continuing discovery of shells and bombs by farmers in the Western front area (100 tons per year after 100 years) was an eye-opener.

old_zpsd7a7862c.jpg

 

I have no idea who this man is.

I feel a tie to this person in this picture, who I never met, and who was probably dead before I was born. I don't know what relation he is of mine, or whether or not I'd even have been born if he had not lived.

 

What an atmospheric snap. There are, I am sure, military history organisations and web sites who could help you narrow him down. We have a fair few ex-service personnel on this site who might be able to help.

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A little light relief folks. An extract from Michael Greens ''The art of course sailing''.

Beavers remarks about V.E night in Cairo started a spate of reminiscence. We all knew each others wartime stories, of course, and waited politely for each to finish before dashing in with our own. The formula on these occasions is to say, as the laughter for the previous story dies down, 'I don't know whether I told you about the time I was stationed in North Wales....' and everyone else, who has heard the story at least twenty times before, politely mutters, 'No, no,' and then the speaker launches into a tissue of lies based on some long forgotten original incident.

Hearing these stories every year, it was interesting to see how they grew under intense competition from everyone.

When we first went sailing, Arthur used to tell us stories in which he drove a ration truck. But as the war receded more and more into the past his truck got nearer and nearer the front-line and finally changed itself into an armoured reconnaissance vehicle. However, by this time Dennis's depot ship was sinking destroyers and Harry apparently belonged to the only anti-aircraft unit that fought in front of the infantry. It was obvious that I was the only person not exaggerating.

Arthur's trump card was his war wound. He had injured his hand when he caught it in the door of a lorry outside a canteen in Farnborough, and it still bore a tiny scar. Now he carefully worked the conversation round to it, massaging his wrist and muttering 'Funny how my hand still hurts after all these years' before seizing his chance and leaping into some huge lie.

I must say Arthur excelled himself that night. Smoke filled the cabin and we blearily blinked at him as he droned on and on, defying the enemy, cheating his officers and swindling the sergeants. Finally he told the story we had heard a dozen times about how a native tailor sewed different flashes on each shoulder of his tunic and he was arrested by a military policeman on suspicion of being a spy. Only this year Arthur embellished the story by claiming he was waiting to be shot by a firing squad when the mistake was discovered.

'They don't shoot you through the heart , you know,' said Arthur.'They aim all over you. Every man aims at a different place. I was right scared, I can tell you.

Pity they didn't go through with it,' muttered Harry wearily as Arthur thundered on.

After that we all went to bed tired but happy, apart from a whiff of sewage from the river.

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old_zpsd7a7862c.jpg

 

I have no idea who this man is. I do not know what his cap badge means, when he lived, or where he served. I am also aware that it may be a merchant navy outfit and not that of a serving officer at all (and if so, my whole post is kinda going to sound very bullshitty!)

But he is a relative of mine- I don't know who. I don't know what he did in what war, or if he lived to age any further than he is shown in that shot.

This photo is just one of hundreds I attempted to rescue with varying degrees of success last December when we cleared my uncle's house (the head of the family) and found all of the photos of that side of my family that had come from my Grandparents, going pretty much back to the time when photography first became a thing.

No one else in the family wanted any of the pictures, and I took what I could carry, knowing anything I couldn't shift on the day was going to be burnt.

I feel a tie to this person in this picture, who I never met, and who was probably dead before I was born. I don't know what relation he is of mine, or whether or not I'd even have been born if he had not lived.

I feel a tie to all of the people in all of the photographs I saved, men in military uniforms from two countries, weddings, babies, Brits, austere Victorian Russians, and it bothers me that many more were lost, and that no one else in my family gives a sharny shite about keeping them or knowing who was in them.

 

So yeah, to me, it is important to remember all of the people who died so that we could be here today to argue over remembrance on the internet from our free country.

I also see, from the example of my family not having the slightest interest in the pictures I mention or the history of our blood relatives told by them, that it is not something everyone pays much mind to.

To me and on pure instinct that picture says -

 

Around the time of World War One

 

Merchant Seaman.

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...

In some strange quirk of ironic justice, one of my other uncles (one of her other brothers) was the QC who defended and had acquitted Clive Ponting, the civil servant who blew the whistle on the circumstances surrounding the sinking of the Belgrano (torpedoed and sunk having turned back from approach to the Falklands towards Argentina, with total(?) loss of life, many of whom were teenage conscripts) and was prosecuted under the official secrets act (aka the Establishment cover-up act).

Thus the RBL Festival of Rememberance neither mentioned the Falklands conflict nor had any specific representative paraded.

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I have a brother who is a firefighter in Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue. He attended the Cenotaph yesterday as the representative of his Brigade. A lot of fire services send people to the Cenotaph to honour the firefighters who were killed at home in world war two.

 

I've done it myself - it is an awesome thing to do

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Looking for volunteering opportunities with the Red Cross I stumbled across this one which sounds very interesting so I've asked for more information as I would love to get involved with this.

Transcribing First World War records.

 

I think there has been a lot of interest so I may not be lucky.

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I agree with John re. The Union Flag. But I find it sad that it was felt necessary to remove the picture.

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Can't help feeling that our glorious politicians and ruling class see this as a chance to work our emotions make us think that we are all in it together with this public display of mawkish 'respect' thus ensuring a constant supply of new 'heroes' to go off to hot and dusty places to die.

What used to be 'Poppy Day' now lasts for weeks. I am well aware of what happened in WW1, I have visited some of the towns and memorials in France and Belgium and I don't need a festival to make me more aware of war and its effects. Bah Humbug springs to mind.

  • Greenie 1

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Removed because some people can only be critical on this forum.

To be fair John is technically correct rightly or wrongly there is an etiquette involved around flying flags and when they should and when they shouldn't be flown at half mast. I don't believe Rememberence Day is one of those occasions.

 

Plus if we want to get really picky about it 'half mast' doesn't actually mean half way up but rather two thirds, the flag should also be fully raised very briefly and lowered to the half mast position and then when being lowered briefly fully raised again. Not simply raised to the half mast position and lowered from it.

 

All was needed realy was for someone to quickly sort it. (Now the picture has gone I can't check for the other common error and that is flying it upside down).

 

I don't think any harm was meant pointing this out TBH.

 

Ed a quick Google turns this up which specifically states the union flag should be flown fully raised on Rememberence Day.

 

http://www.naco.uk.com/docs/presentations/flagprotocol.pdf

Edited by The Dog House

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To be fair John is technically correct rightly or wrongly there is an etiquette involved around flying flags and when they should and when they shouldn't be flown at half mast. I don't believe Rememberence Day is one of those occasions.

Plus if we want to get really picky about it 'half mast' doesn't actually mean half way up but rather two thirds, the flag should also be fully raised very briefly and lowered to the half mast position and then when being lowered briefly fully raised again. Not simply raised to the half mast position and lowered from it.

All was needed realy was for someone to quickly sort it. (Now the picture has gone I can't check for the other common error and that is flying it upside down).

I don't think any harm was meant pointing this out TBH.

So that's why the flags in Manchester are reported as flying at half-mast. It's not what's done but the way in which it is done that irks me. Why try and make a fool of someone publically (which seems to be happening far too often on here) when a PM would have been all that was needed. It's probably so that John can try and score a point which I why I took the image down. Surely today is about remembering the fallen not about trying to score points. The image will remain unavailable.

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So that's why the flags in Manchester are reported as flying at half-mast. It's not what's done but the way in which it is done that irks me. Why try and make a fool of someone publically (which seems to be happening far too often on here) when a PM would have been all that was needed. It's probably so that John can try and score a point which I why I took the image down. Surely today is about remembering the fallen not about trying to score points. The image will remain unavailable.

Fair point on the issue of PM'ing.

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Can't help feeling that our glorious politicians and ruling class see this as a chance to work our emotions make us think that we are all in it together with this public display of mawkish 'respect' thus ensuring a constant supply of new 'heroes' to go off to hot and dusty places to die.

What used to be 'Poppy Day' now lasts for weeks. I am well aware of what happened in WW1, I have visited some of the towns and memorials in France and Belgium and I don't need a festival to make me more aware of war and its effects. Bah Humbug springs to mind.

 

I think there's a great deal of truth in that.

 

Nevertheless Bazza's point about WW2 firefighters is well made.

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As an ex coal face worker, at this time of year I wonder if any 'Bevin Boys' lost their lives after having been conscripted into the pits and if so, how many?

 

SAM

 

ex Hatfield Main NUM

Edited by Victor Vectis

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As an ex coal face worker, at this time of year I wonder if any 'Bevin Boys' lost their lives after having been conscripted into the pits and if so, how many?

 

SAM

 

ex Hatfield Main NUM

 

Jimmy Saville was a 'Bevin Boy', as was Eric Morecombe, (not a lot of people know that)

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Not sure who is in charge of flags in Stoke Bruerne but it is normal to fly the flag at full mast

 

Indeed so.

 

However, the convention at every local war memorial around these parts that I have been to is that the on both Remembrance Sunday and on the 11th, the flag is flown at full mast from dawn to dusk, but is lowered slowly to half mast during the playing of the Last Post, held there for the silence, and smartly returned to mast head on the first note of Reveille, in time with the dipping of standards.

 

It may lack official sanction, but to my mind it seems "right"

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Now that really did bring tears to my eyes, part of joy because he was getting such a kick out of doing it. God Bless Him, for want of a better saying being a Non-Believer.

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