Gransnet forums


Lest we forget.

(13 Posts)
LucyGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 07-Nov-13 09:51:56

With Remembrance Day approaching, many of us will be reminded of the sacrifice that others made during the war. This week we hear from Andrew Davidson, whose grandfather left him a reminder of his own - the photographs he took on the front line.

As well as being a reminder of the bravery of the soldiers, and a unique insight into life at war, Andrew also sees the unique brotherhood between them. Do leave us your comments below.

grannyactivist Thu 07-Nov-13 10:16:30

The 'camaraderie' described does continue with personnel serving in conflict situations nowadays and, in my experience, the memory of those who don't come home is often an open wound for many of those that do.

JessM Thu 07-Nov-13 10:33:22

Well what else did they have to keep their spirits up in the trenches? I wonder were all the photos in the book of smiling officers behind the lines?
Not sure that remembering the camaraderie is much comfort when set against the mass slaughter, the shooting for cowardice of those who cracked and the whole bloody, wasteful mess of it.
My grandfather was in France, got gassed, died of the lung damage before I was born - so it deprived me of my grandad. I always remember the waste but there is nothing to celebrate I think.

penguinpaperback Thu 07-Nov-13 11:19:18

Treasured photographs. Sweeping statement but in today's world we store pictures on our phone, our pc. We always intend to print them out and mount them in frames, in albums but we never find the time. An email, a text is quicker than a letter. Our past may be erased at the touch of a button.

Ariadne Thu 07-Nov-13 11:20:25

You are right, ga - when we were in NI in the eighties we lost people (I did my training in bereavement and post trauma counselling there) and being with others who understood helped the survivors a lot. But I still remember the bombings and the after effects.

And yes, Jess I agree with you about WW2. The waste still resonates today.

Ariadne Thu 07-Nov-13 11:21:10

WW1, I meant!!!

Elegran Thu 07-Nov-13 11:23:19

My grandfather was gassed too, JessM but was "lucky" in that he survived until 1950.

He had great difficulty finding work when he returned from the Somme and the rest of the "war to end wars". The job market was flooded with other returning "heroes" and he was not fit enough for heavy work. He got a job standing outside a cinema in all weathers (in another uniform) controlling the queues.

Then he worked for the council, painting the outsides of council houses - again in all weathers, except when it was too bad to paint, when they had to turn up anyway and wait around for an hour before it was official that there would be no work that day and they were sent home to drip and steam. If they did not turn up, they got no pay at all, if they did, it was a nominal amount, so he was there every day.

Every winter he got bronchitis, but tried to be at work every day unless he could not get out of bed. eventually what looked like another bout of bronchitis was diagnosed as lung cancer and he could not work at all for fourteen months, until his death.

He and my grandmother had no help from anywhere except the family. Is that justice on him for joining the forces to get a steady income for his family?

FlicketyB Thu 07-Nov-13 16:07:28

Everybody agrees that war is terrible and talks about the waste of lost lives when talking about WW1 and WW2. Like others here my grandfather died in WW1, as also did 2 great uncles and a cousin

But this poses a problem. Assuming that Germany acted in the aggressive ways that it did to instigate these wars. What alternative actions could we have instigated that would have protected us from war and domination by the Germans?

tanith Thu 07-Nov-13 16:15:00

From my own family experiences I remember how with great sorrow my father recounted the circumstances of his own fathers death at the Somme before he was even born so he never met his father and I was deprived of a Grandfather. The slaughter still resonates down through the generations .

Stansgran Thu 07-Nov-13 16:34:24

I the DLI chapel in Durham there is a stand with a memorial book which contains the names and dates of those who lost their lives in the two wars. There are days when it is painful to see the page. I was there when a women said that she had never met her father but that his name was in the book . Her grandfather had taken her many times and said her fathers name was in there but she had never seen it. The Verger came and found her fathers name and it was deeply moving.

Iam64 Thu 07-Nov-13 21:17:14

Both my grandfathers fought in the 1st war. One grandfather was a pow, and he had no criticisms about the young German guards. He said towards the end of the war, there was so little food that the pow's and German guards trapped rats, boiled grass and shared the red cross parcels. My father and uncle both fought in the 2nd war. No on in my family glorified war. My father was furious about what he always called Blair and Bush's illegal war.
I'll wear a red poppy in remembrance.

nonnanna Fri 08-Nov-13 07:25:58

My OH and I will be at Remembrance Day services this year and will wear our poppies with pride. Earlier this year we discovered, through tracing OH's family tree, that his grandfather died during the Somme and his name is on the Thiepval memorial to the missing, along with the other 71,999 names engraved there. We travelled to France to see it and found the whole trip very moving. Neither of us had given much thought to WW1 before but this changed when we experienced the trip. Some of the photographs displayed in the museums and exhibitions are graphic, shocking and fill you with compassion for the people who were sent to the trenches. We will not forget them.

grandmac Wed 11-Dec-13 20:05:14

Going to the Somme to see the name of my Father's cousin on the magnificent Thiepval monument I was most struck by the innumerable headstones that read
A Soldier of The Great War

and at the bottom of the stone the words

Known Unto God

I found these words almost unbearably sad and the uniformity of the cemeteries kept so beautifully by the CWGC only added to this feeling. Whatever the rights or wrongs of any war we must not forget that those fighting in our armed services are doing what they see as their duty.

RIP all those brave men.