Remembrance Sunday

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You don't have to pay to search for his service records. You could have searched for them for free on the FMP site at the weekend, as I said. Ancestry also has a free offer on Military records, too, up to tomorrow .Or your local library might have a subscription to FMP and/or Ancestry, in which case you can look at them for free (if they have survived, of course- lots haven't)

The only thing you have to pay for is for the War Diaries and at £3.30 per Diary for the downloadable ones which can cover a hundred or more pages, I don't think it's too extortionate! As the one you want isn't downloadable, you could always go to Kew and look at it for free.

Great photos - thanks for posting

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I was in Wheeler Gate at 11.00 this morning. There were many people walking past us that stood in remembrance.

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firbeck, on 11 Nov 2014 - 1:06 PM, said:

The National Archives, a Government run organisation yet still wanting to charge you for the services that us tax payers already pay for. It's National Archive Week this week, it's also a very significant Remembrance week, but they're still charging, it doesn't encourage us poor downtrodden footsoldiers to look things up does it, why should I have to pay a fee to a Government institution to look up my grandfather when they constantly bang on about trying to register, log information, etc etc etc, f### em I refuse to pay to do it, grandad will have to remain anonymous. Well he won't, I've done quite a bit of sniffing about for free, more later.

By the way, my grandads records must have been held at the Royal Scots archives in Edinburgh, they weren't Blitzed, it's all an excuse to squeeze money out of you to pay the EU 'debt'.

Bloody Krauts and cowardly French.

The trouble is that millions of men served in the armed forces in WW1. I'm not sure you can expect the government - via the tax payer - to fork out a lot of money to digitise umpteen million crumbling paper documents. The government has to outsource the task to private companies, or it would never be done, and the records lost forever.

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  • 3 years later...

I was named after an uncle, that I never knew, who lost his life at Dunkirk. My maternal grandfather fought in the trenches on the western front. My dad was also at Dunkirk and later in North Africa then Sicily and Italy. Mum was in the WRAF on the airfields of bomber command along the Trent valley and Lincolnshire.

The Last Post always brings a tear as I pause to remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice and countless thousands of others injured or damaged by the futility of war and also the part that my family played. 

We often recite one verse of the Ode to the Fallen but I thought I would show it in full.


With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal,
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation,
And a glory that shines upon her tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known,
As the stars are known to the night.

As the stars will be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;

As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

English poet Laurence Binyon


Interestingly here in Australia every night at Returned Servicemens' Clubs they observe one minutes silence, the bold verse is recited to which the response is "Lest We Forget"

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Whilst doing some genealogical research into my family I came across this verse, so sad but so true!


It is a soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us the Freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us the freedom of speech,...
It is the soldier, not the campus organiser,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate,
It is the soldier,
Who salutes the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows us the protester to burn the flag.

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  • 1 year later...

In memory of all our faithful servants that also lost their lives


I spoke to you in Whispers by Neil Andrew


I spoke to you in whispers
As shells made the ground beneath us quake
We both trembled in that crater
A toxic muddy bloody lake
I spoke to you and pulled your ears
To try and quell your fearful eye
As bullets whizzed through the raindrops
And we watched the men around us die
I spoke to you in stable tones
A quiet tranquil voice
At least I volunteered to fight
You didn't get to make the choice
I spoke to you of old times
Perhaps you went before the plough
And pulled the haycart from the meadow
Far from where we're dying now
I spoke to you of grooming
Of when the ploughman made you shine
Not the shrapnel wounds and bleeding flanks
Mane filled with mud and wire and grime
I spoke to you of courage
As gas filled the Flanders air
Watched you struggle in the mud
Harness acting like a snare
I spoke to you of peaceful fields
Grazing beneath a setting sun
Time to rest your torn and tired body
Your working day is done
I spoke to you of promises
If from this maelstrom I survive
By pen and prose and poetry
I'll keep your sacrifice alive
I spoke to you of legacy
For when this hellish time is through
All those who hauled or charged or carried
Will be regarded heroes too
I spoke to you in dulcet tones
Your eye told me you understood
As I squeezed my trigger to bring you peace
The only way I could
And I spoke to you in whispers.

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I tend to take a 'wide' view of Remembrance.. Obviously.. the Fallen are uppermost in my thoughts, but also the vast numbers of those wounded or otherwise affected by war.


My Dad and my Grandfather both survived their respective wars.. but neither were left unchanged by them.  That in turn had a knock on effect within their families.


I had the honour to lay Remembrance Wreaths when I was Chairman of the local Parish Council.  There was a ceremony in St Helens Town Centre in the morning.  The most affecting part of that was after all of the local 'big wigs' had laid their wreaths.. seeing a young woman and a small child placing a cross at the base of the War Memorial.  That really brought it home.


In the afternoon.. there is always a ceremony in the local Anglican Church, which contains the village War Memorial. The Clergy from the local Methodist and Catholic churches all join in and again.. wreaths are laid on behalf of the Parish Council and other organisations.

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Oz, I know the poem wasn't primarily about humans and the effects on them during the war, but it made me cry thinking of the innocent horses that suffered from the atrocities....

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  • 11 months later...
  • 1 year later...



John Samuel Ward, Sherwood Foresters. 


Ernest Ward, Sherwood Foresters.


Archie Saunt, KRRC.


Thomas William Sparrow, Norfolk Regiment.


Charles Clarke, RAF.


John Duncan MacBean, Scottish Light Infantry.


Henry Meredith Lewes, Sherwood Foresters.


And many, many others.










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Watching the TV coverage from the Cenataph and feeling very emotional and proud.  We haven’t lost any immediate family through war but days like today and the individual interviews, especially with seriously injured ex military personnel makes me feel very humble and thankful for the thousands of brave people who have protected us.  

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