A beautiful ride across the moor in the early sun gave me time to give thought to the beloved men in my life who served either in the first world war or during and just after the second world war. They all came home safely but they were changed men.
My father was a little too young to be in active service, but his description of being on a mine sweeper “clearing up after the war” and the scar on his shin where the cable had slashed him left an impression on me as a child.
That and the malarial recurrences that my grandfather suffered from time to time.
Today at Chagford, there was a parade about to go into the church as I arrived in the village.
Men in wool coats and wearing their poppies and medals… scouts and flag bearers.
There has been a lot of coverage on the radio that I have listened to and a series, The Passing Bells, set in WW1, where a dying, newly married German boy embraces his dying English (new father) foe while back in the decimated trenches the news it’s that the war is over. It was desperately poignant.
I’m sad that I didn’t make the effort to see the sea of poppies in London. Just the photographs have had a profound effect.
I haven’t bought or worn a poppy but that doesn’t mean that I’m ignoring this commemoration. There are so few left who have living experience to share.
I have to hope that we might one day we see the futility of all out, armed combat.