Remembrance Sunday


I am going to walk to our local War Memorial this morning.

So many reasons.

My grandfather died in a Japanese prisoner of war camp – and all of the horrors that entailed.

My aunt has a photo of his grave somewhere in Burma, and I shall wear his silver tie pin to hold my poppy.

I have known and worked with many men who were in the Falklands, Bosnia and then the first Iraq Conflict – wars fought in my lifetime- and like most towns in the UK, there are local men and women who are still overseas wearing uniform, doing what they can in an impossible situation.

And I shall probably blub all the way home.

One program I shall watch on Tv this afternoon is a doc on Vera Brittain on BBC1 as part of a series of progs the BBC is running on the 90th anniversary of WW1 armistice. Wilfred Owen is on this evening.

I am not a historian, but if anyone ever asks me who I think is the most influential person of the last century, there is only one name, and it is not Alexander Fleming, or Oppenheimer or any of the great and the good – it is one Gavrilo Princip, the young man who shot Archduke Ferdinand when he visited Sarajevo, and set light to the touchpaper which led to a cascade of trauma, death and destruction across Russia, the Austo-Hungarian Empire, Germany- and the lives of tens of millions of people over the last 100 years.

That is the real anniversary of the start of the carnage. June 28th 1914.