We remember the Fallen but we must also remember the brave that returned whose lives were never the same.
My Uncle Jack was a "Railway Man" forced to build the Burma railway by the Japanese as a POW. Most of his comrades died of starvation or disease but he was one of the "lucky" survivors. He returned a skeleton, and suffered ill health and fevers the rest of his life.
Uncle Harry was also a Japanese POW and never really recovered from the experience. Mentally scarred he lived with his Mother, and like many POWs used to hoard food under his bed.
It was a few minutes to 11am and Ron and I were returning home as fast as we could because momentous events were afoot. We charged down the street and rushed into the house. The wireless was on and I heard the words gravely spoken,
‘As no such guarantee has been given (or was it received), this country is now in a state of war with Germany.’
I think it was our Ted (photo) who spoke first,
‘The best thing I can do is volunteer for the medical corps. There’s no way I want to get pushed into the infantry to be shot at!’
Once Ted had received his papers for the Army (in January 1940) a date was fixed for his wedding.
Armistice Day – through the eyes of an 8 year old choirboy
I think that of all the services I took part in, the one I always found most moving, the one I loved best, was the Armistice Day Sunday. Several of the choirmen were ex-servicemen from the Great War. I think one had lost a leg and another was on sticks as a result of his wounds.
It was on this day that those in the congregation who’d served during that first holocaust proudly wore their medals, polished & burnished, shining & clinking as they moved. What a pageant of sight, sound and colour, as behind the flags and banners, they walked to lay them upon the altar to be blessed.