Remembrance

Stephen’s sent me some truly moving photos for Remembrance Sunday. There’s always something profoundly sad about seeing rows and rows of graves of young men but it’s when one stops looking at the whole, and begins to see the individuals behind the sea of white stones that they are most powerful.

Stephen says, “Gunner Pierce from Canada probably never met Private Hammond from New Zealand, but for over ninety years now they’ve been neighbours in a quiet corner of the London Borough of Greenwich.”

We know practically nothing about these two young soldiers – save that they died within a couple of months of each other in 1916. Where or how, who knows – but I’ll wager it wasn’t a pleasant death.

Stephen points out “The very least they could have asked was that they’d not be forgotten,” so here, today, let us say their names out loud, honour and remember them alongside the thousands of others, not just in the Commonwealth section of Greenwich Cemetery but scattered across the world. Individuals, each of them.

Like Private J D Thistle who fell on 3rd July 1916 aged just seventeen.

I wish I could say we’d learnt from the past. But today of all days, we must not forget.


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