Sunday, 11 November 2018
Remembrance Sunday 11 / 11 / 2018
Today was, of course, Armistice Day - the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, and also a time to remember all wars and conflicts, and the men and women ( and animals ) who served... those who came back and those who didn't.
This morning Sarah, James and I went to a service at Gloucester's war memorial, where hundreds turned out to mark this solemn and momentous occasion. Although the weather was showery it managed to stay dry for the service and the sun even shone while the Lord's Prayer was being read and the two minute's silence was observed. After the service the assembled service men and women marched through the centre of the City...
Although I don't have any direct connection with the forces, I was thinking today of my grandfather, Private Harry Reginald Barton, who fought in the First World War. Harry was a farmer's boy who joined the Gloucester Regiment ( the "Glorious Glosters" ) at the age of 19 ( James' age! ) and was wounded in the leg while in service. I never knew him - he died in 1960, six years before I was born - and know very little of his time during the War, but I often think of what it must have been like for such a young man in that terrible, terrible conflict. Today we can only imagine the horrors those ( mostly ) young people suffered... but we must always remember...
In the early evening we went to the nearby village of Slimbridge to see a remarkable art installation by local sculptor, Jackie Lantelli. She's fashioned life-size figures of soldiers out of wire and placed them in Slimbridge churchyard. Each of these "ghost soldiers" stands before a gravestone or plaque remembering those of the parish who gave their lives in conflicts, most in WWI.
This was a beautiful tribute to the fallen and was incredibly moving.
"Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them."