Tuesday, November 11, 2008

They also serve who only stand and wait.

Cottrell, J.E., Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, Camp Borden, Ontario circa 1944
Davies, H., Canadian Women's Army Corps, Camp Borden, Ontario circa 1944

These are my parents. She was the Colonel's Secretary. They met on the base and when she was back in the office she checked his personnel file to see if he was married......

When I was a little girl my grandfather "Ernie" ( a veteran of WW I) took me to the Royal Canadian Legion in Toronto on Remembrance Day to see and hear

Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein

"I want you to remember this," he said to me. "Now, that is a great man, a bastard but a great man." All I really remember is a little man in battle dress uniform. But as I got older and learned what had happened I came to know why my grand father wanted me to be there.

They don't teach poetry in school as they did when I was a child. It is excellent training for the mind and some poems are never forgotten.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead.

Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved,and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae


Van said...

Thanks for your comment in my journal. This post brings up memories of my grandfather, who wanted to serve in WWI but wasn't old enough, and served in WWII but never went overseas. He probably wouldn't be thrilled that I'm a pacifist, but he is still very dear in my memory!


Susan said...

Ah Van, we are like minded individuals. I too abhor war and the agony it brings. My Grandfather was in WW I and his memories were salved only when shared with Jack Daniels. He never spoke of Ypres and Vimy Ridge. He was a loving and attentive Grandfather and I still miss his hugs.