Monday, 3 November 2008


The Sentinel is running a series of articles on war veterans from the first and second World Wars, in the run up to Remembrance Sunday this weekend. The first of these articles highlights the experiences of Veteran Tom Berrisford, of Lightwood, and can be found here.

Anyone who reads Tom's story can't fail to be appalled by the conditions he and others like him experienced. However, as time goes by, these wars become distant memories, not even taught that much in schools any more, and both myself and my better half think it is important that we remember the lessons from the past.

Out of respect, we all have a duty to buy a poppy at this time of year, to remember those great men and women who have lost their lives in the armed forces, not just in the two world wars, but in many other conflicts over the years as well. Whatever any of us think about the rights and wrongs of any war, there are people out there willing to put their lives on the line in defence of this great country of ours. We need to honour and remember them.

I really don't think our young people know enough about the horrors experienced by our war veterans. If they did, they might have a bit more respect. What do you all think? Is there still a place for remembering these wars and atrocities, or should we live in the present and try to forget all that has gone before? Is that right and fair to all those people who gave their lives?

And what about the much needed funds raised from the Poppy Appeal for the British Legion, who help world war veterans and their families, and all the other servicemen and women affected by more recent wars. If we stop remembering, they lose a much needed source of fundraising. I for one aren't happy about that. What do you think?


terry turbo said...

I urge all people to attend these services, and spare a thought for the people who gave their lives to give us the freedom we have today.

nita said...

I watched a report on Sky News the other day, where one of the last remaining War Veterans spoke about his time in the army. His name was Henry and he was 112, what a grand age. To hear him relay the tales, and say he would rather forget half of the sights he witnessed, brought a tear to your eye.

I have read the article on Tom Berrisford, of Lightwood, and he still constantly sees the picture of the person he had to shoot at close range. We simply cannot fully appreciate how harrowing some of the situations these soldiers had to, and currently have to face.

So, I for one, think we should be proud of every person that fought in the first and second world war, and it is only right that we should remember them. It could have all been so different, if these people had not risked their lives for our country.

Lets not forget the soldiers that have fought in other conflicts, and especially those that are currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. What an excellent job they are doing, under terrible conditions, but all are prepared to risk their lives, for others.

On Remembrance Sunday, we should also think about the families left behind, who have lost loved ones, in these conflicts.

So, Alison, as you say, it is important that we all purchase a Poppy, and support the British Legion.

Adam Colclough said...

This must be one of the few occasions when almost everyone who writes for or responds to this blog is in agreement, we should, of course wear our poppies with pride in memory of the service people from Britain and the Commonwealth who gave their today for our tomorrow during the two world wars.

Though we still wear them with pride it is becoming harder each year to find people out on the streets supporting the Poppy Appeal.

As the number of veterans of the Second World War diminishes with each passing year it is time for another generation to rise to the challenge, not least because British service people are still engaged in combat and whatever political problems some people, myself included, have with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they deserve our support when they fall on hard times.

The British legion has appealed in the local and national press for volunteers for next year’s appeal and I for one would be happy to help where I can.

It might though be worth considering including supporting this worthy and determinedly non-political cause in the citizenship education programmes on offer in our schools.

warren said...

Altought I have never been in the Armed Sirvices, or in the lest bit religus, I will be at Dresden Cenertaf on Sunday, as I always have. Its not to hard to remember brave men and women who gave there life for this country.