Saturday, 25 July 2009

Truly, the end of an era

The last remaining British WW1 veteran has passed on.

I wonder what will happen in years to come when all the WW1 and WW2 veterans have passed on ... will the passing of the memories leave us open to another vicious and terrible world war?

It seems to me that already people have forgotten enough of the horrors of WW2 and pretty much all of the horrors of WW1 ... and European and American governments are quite happy to pursue violent conflict all the time. At some point, one of these could easily escalate and once again all hell will again break loose.

None of this is a happy prospect for me.


davidncl said...

It's naive - childish even - to think that the memory or even the fear of carnage on the battlefield (70k British dead at Passchendaele over a few months). Not even the firebomings of Tokyo.

It was the certainties of Mutual Assured Destruction.

And it's the loss of understanding of stategic nuclear war that scares the shit out of me. Too many people have no idea (as opposed to a feelings) what the nukes mean.

Mitch said...

People like brown and obama will blunder the world into another war,this time with the Muslims at a guess.
They happily sacrifice soldiers lives for political vanity.

Earthlet Nigel said...

@Mitch, You are so very right in you views.

Korea (Labour in power at the start of conflict)
Aden (Labour in power from 1964)

Northern Ireland (Labour in power)

The saddest part for me is simply that no one wants to listen. As each generation passes, so too passes the living history.

Schools either don't want us, or are barred from using us, the usual one here is potential peados, the other covert reason is political.
Universities appear not to encourage research into modern conflicts.
Consequently each generation is damned to repeat the mistakes of the past.

I took the King's shilling and served in more conflicts than I care to remember. Served 1970-94.

Not only is that cunt broon willing to sacrifice soldiers for his personal political gain and aims, he cares not a jot about those that have served, and any related problems they have or develope.

The cunts changed the criteria for loss of hearing, no one hear any better, but they have made it far more difficult to get any compensation.

PTSD which I have, unsurprising really, NHS, don't bother, it's left to charities such as Help for Heroes and Combat Stress to sort out, and no government grants.

The attitude they have is both dangerous and disingenuous.

I also believe that all would be politicians should serve in the forces, preferably the teeth arms, and their children when of age.

I am strangely not anti-war, but I do further believe that when unleashed, the forces should be given the wherewithal to do the job with no political interference.
Here with particular reference to pratts sat in comfy offices dictating rules of engagement.

Warsteiner said...

I hope he's at peace, the memories he died with are unimagineable to mere mortals like us.

JP said...

Agree with war or not, this man and millions of others gave their lives for liberty and peace. It's just a shame modern governments ignore that liberty and peace.

flamand said...

"the memories he died with are unimagineable to mere mortals like us."
Confronted with the reality I can only agree.

The small french village I live in was fought through in 'The Race To The Sea' in 1914, was just behind allied lines through till it was taken during the German Spring Offensive of 1918, formed part of the defence perimeter of Dunkirk during the evacuation & is surrounded by the remains of the V1 launch sites targeted by heavy bombing.Just digging the garden produced a dozen or so shell fuse-caps & numerous suspicious metal & bone fragments.
The woods where I walk the dog was the site of a battle in 1916 & the war grave cemetery has 50 or so gravestones to witness it. The other side of the wood there's a larger cemetery containing more than 250. In the winter,it can be quite tricky threading a path. What were the old trench lines show up as long, shallow, water filled depressions punctuated by the remains of shell craters. The First War is over-layed with the bombing of the Second. Neat 15-20ft diameter, perfectly round holes half as deep as they're wide & mostly filled with water.They're so thickly sown that often I'm balancing around adjoining rims. The infamous 'ski shaped structure' & the launch ramp are relatively undamaged but a few hundred tons of blockhouse has been lifted almost onto its side.

Not far behind the White Cliffs of Dover a plaque commemorates the field the first four squadrons of the Royal Flying Corps took off from for Amiens in October '14. In the cemetery at Veaux Burquin two RFC lieutenants lay side by side. Killed in April '15. Probably taking off or landing at the airfield nearby.
None of the houses in our village were built before 1918. In those days there probably weren't more than 50 dwellings plus a few surrounding farms. The war memorial lists 26 civilian deaths & 27 military for this small community. There are 16 extra graves in the village cemetery. A dozen East Kents & 4 assorted others who died in 1940.

Does anyone learn?

Ironically, Agincourt's a half hour drive down the road & Waterloo slightly further in the opposite direction.

Anonymous said...

On the chimney of Meadow mill in Stockport there is a plaque with 21 names on it of men from there who died in WW1, 3 have the same surname Sowcroft.When I left school I worked with a veteran of both world wars he told me in WW1 men were sent to Eire for 6 weeks basic training before being sent to the front. They still used mule transport and one day a mule kicked a man in the throat, all his mate rallied round to help but were told fuck him we can get another man for a shilling a day go and get the mule

Mitch said...

The worst of the worst parts about brown is he has a degree in history but not real history like Passchendaele and the rest just Bloody lab party history...WTF.
hence my concern.
I have a Daughter and son in law both in the RAF so my concern is closer to home than most.

Chalcedon said...

Once it is truly fogotten it could well happen again. Middle east will become a radioactive glass sheet.

Wesley Groves said...

Only 6 years separate my paternal Grandfather from Harry Patch (RIP).In the trenches my grandfather would have looked on Patch as a kid.I was over at Ypres in November for the 90th anniversary.It is emotional. Still what angers me is the betrayal of a "land fit for heroes" and the fuckwit politicians making capital out of banal waves of patriotism. As for Afghanistan it is very "Dulce et decorum est"...