Remembrance 2017

Nailsea and nearby

Lest you forget

This year Armistice Day is on Saturday, November 11, and Remembrance Day on Sunday, November 12.

A bugler will play the Last Post at Somerset Square, Nailsea, on Saturday, November 11, when old soldiers and their representatives will be marking the occasion with a minutes silence at 11am.

On Sunday, November 12, Bryan Irwin of the Royal British Legion will again gather the troops at the War Memorial at Holy Trinity church at 10.25am.

This will be followed by a service led by associate vicar Trevor Dean and preacher David Kay.

The new vicar, the Rev James Packham won’t be in situ for a few months.

Armistice Day will be observed with a two minutes silence at Backwell War Memorial at 11am with everyone assembling at 10.50am.

The Royal British Legion Remembrance Service at St Andrew's Parish Church, at 10.50am is followed by a wreath laying at Backwell War Memorial opposite.

At Flax Bourton parish church the Remembrance Service is at 4pm.

Tesco Nailsea is among the supermarket branches nationwide to be proudly supporting the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal this year.

Poppies and collection points will be at all its stores, distribution centres and offices across the UK including our High Street branch

There will be also be poppy collectors at Crown Glass Shopping Centre on Saturday, November 11.

The Royal British Legion provides lifelong support for the Armed Forces community - serving men and women, veterans, and their families.

RBL is asking the nation to Rethink Remembrance by recognising the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces community, past and present.

By wearing a poppy, you aren’t just remembering the fallen: you’re supporting a new generation of veterans and service personnel that need our support.

Nailsea School tutor groups are designing poppies, pictured, for Remembrance Day which will be planted in the front garden after the event.

All 32 Key Stage 3 and 4 tutor groups have created a design for ceramic poppy to reflect the sacrifice made by those who have served their nation.

Designs will soon be short-listed before being painted onto the ceramic poppies.

Representatives from each tutor group will hold the poppy during the school remembrance service before they are planted as a lasting memory.

On Friday, November 10, the school will come together for an 11am memorial event.

This will either be inside the atrium or at the front of the school depending on the weather.

Nailsea School students who belong to police, army or marine cadets, guides or scouts may wear the uniform of their youth organisation on that day.

Nailsea Junior Football Club will be observing a minutes silence at the start of all its home matches this weekend.

Always on our minds

 

My grandmother’s fiancé died on the fields of Flanders during World War One.

He was blown up and took a week to die in a French hospital with no arms or legs.

We know because the doctors, nurses and officers wrote and told us.

My paternal granddad William Wall came home from the trenches suffering from mustard gas poisoning.

He took two painful years to die, coughing up blood and guts while lying on a put-you-up bed downstairs in their back-to-back terrace in Hinckley.

William was too ill to climb the stairs, yet after his death officialdom tried initially to deny my grandmother a war widow’s pension citing her husband’s illness as tuberculosis.

My auntie’s husband was killed in an American bombing raid while in German prison-of-war camp four long years after being captured at Dunkirk and only weeks from the end of hostilities.

The camp had been disguised as an armament factory to attract friendly fire.

These tragedies cast a long dark shadow over our family history.

Happily, my maternal grandmother went on to marry someone else or I wouldn’t be writing this.

Granddad James Price was a regular in The Royal Berkshire Regiment, an infantry regiment of the British Army.

The regiment was created in 1881 and granddad was sent to fight in the Boer War.

He didn’t see active service in South Africa as his troop ship never disembarked from the port at Cape Town and after a time carried on full steam ahead to Calcutta.

In peacetime ‘Jim’ returned safely to our home town of Marlow with many mementoes and stories of a swearing parrot and drunken monkey hunts in India.

But his prize possession was a curved Turkish Ottoman Empire officer sword he removed from a dead officer on a battlefield somewhere in the Balkans, I think.

The lethal weapon lived on the top of the wardrobe at 33 Little Marlow Road – that is until my brothers Eric and Colin used it in a play fight and one of the boys defending himself with a wooden ruler was nearly decapitated by the bigger sibling brandishing ‘the’ real thing’.

My father also called Eric served in WW2 as an RAF flight sergeant mostly in the Middle East.

He came home but three of his brothers didn’t – his widowed mother’s only surviving son.

Top: Troops preparing to go to war marching down Marlow High Street and a few of the many graves - lots unmarked - found in France and Germany, Jacksons at Bourne End workers during WW2 with aunt Peggy

Uncle John served with the Merchant Navy risking life and limb transporting goods through the U-boat blockade – he never talked about it.

Uncle Arthur was posted 'missing' when in Burma but turned up a week later unable to hear properly and suffering from malaria - not enough to get him sent home.

The women in our family did 'war work' - in WW2 they slogged in a factory for seven days a week and danced at the Band Hall most evenings with conscripted men getting ready to go abroad - many including the Irish Guards they invited to Christmas dinner did not return.

After the war my Auntie Vi worked with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission helping to put plaques on the plots of fallen heroes.

Our family were posted to Germany in the mid-1950s and saw the devastation with bomb sites which mirrored the dirty big holes in the ground we had witnessed in London.

But as small children I remember the biggest fears were during the Aden emergency and Cuban missile crisis with prayers said at school that our country wouldn't be involved in another war.

There is always lot to think about on Remembrance Day.

Carol Deacon

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