Remembrance Day

I always find this day very moving. Obviously I’m not old enough to remember either the World Wars. However, my great grandfather was a RAF pilot and died in a tragic accident, during World War One. I remember being shown a newspaper clipping about a farmer who found his plane wreckage.

My grandfather, his son, served in the Army during World War Two. He didn’t talk much about his experiences while he was alive. During his time, he was part of a peacekeeping corp in France. I remember him talking about his unit having to remove dead German soldiers out of people’s gardens.

But I’ll never forget this next story. During a battle, I don’t know which one, a grenade was thrown and my grandfather’s friend threw himself on it.

Worse still, because a tank was coming, my grandfather had to sweep out of the way, his friend’s remains.

I can’t imagine what my grandfather went through. He was a hero. He was such a modest man and never claimed his medals.

What saddens me the most is when, not all that long before he died, he said he wonders why he bothered because we never learn.

I’m always moved by War veterans’ stories of their experiences in all wars and conflicts. I can see the sadness and trauma in their eyes. I’m truly grateful for these men and women’s sacrifices.

All countries, on whatever side they’re on, have suffered the immense loss of human lives.

I just wish that we would learn there is nothing to gain from war. Moreover, it saddens me that there are people in this world who want it.

Answering my grandfather’s question, he bothered because it was the right thing to do.

That’s all we can do, isn’t it?

This post is dedicated to you, grandad, and I wish I thanked you when you were alive for what you’ve done for this country.

10 thoughts on “Remembrance Day

  1. What a beautiful post, Rachel. I think it was Churchill who said β€œnever have so many owed so much to so few”.

    Thank you for sharing these stories. Sadly, as our veterans are dying, we need to continue to pass on these stories.

    Lest we forget. πŸ™

  2. Aw thank you for sharing your families stories. You have honoured them well. I too have been thinking about my Grandad a lot today and wrote a poem for him. He became very anti-war after his own experiences. I hope we learn how to be more peaceful one day 🀞

  3. Respect to your grandfather for what he went through and his service. He really was a part of making the world a better place (or at least ridding it of a malignant form of evil), even if he doubted that a bit at the end. It was the right thing to do and he did it and we’re all better for it.

  4. Your grandfather was obviously, a good and caring person and a hero. The very fact that we’ve been protected from the hurt he had to face ( and so sometimes made him doubt the value of his sacrifice ) show how much he protected us.
    As someone who’s lost a fair few loved ones I’d like to add that he, almost certainly, knew you loved him and looked up to him for all he’d done. He would have know how you felt even if you didn’t say it aloud.
    And, I fell, if we find peace and harmony in these little corners of our lives – in our neighbourhoods and work places, commutes and shopping trips – then there’s always hope we can grow that into true peace.

  5. Thank you for sharing, think this part got me “But I’ll never forget this next story. During a battle, I don’t know which one, a grenade was thrown and my grandfather’s friend threw himself on it.”

    The absolute bravery to sacrifice yourself like that and the mental fortitude of your grandfather to have to press on and clean up for the tank.

    Lest we forget…

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