We will remember them

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This splendid gentleman was my great grandfather, George.

He fought in the First World War and was one of the lucky ones who survived it.

Let’s hope all our troops in Afghanistan are as lucky.

They shall not grow old,
As those that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them,
Nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We will remember them.

That really was the Last Post

I don’t know how or why, but I was labouring under the impression that one more FirstĀ  World War veteran remained to outlive Harry Patch and Henry Allingham.

But no, that’s it.

There’s no-one left to give their first-hand account of what it was really like to fight for your country then.

That’s another piece of history that’s now gone straight from a living oral tradition to one that will now have to be recreated with words and pictures.

Sure, we’re better off than we ever have been in terms of recording the lives and words of the millions of ordinary people who have helped to shape our world, but nothing will ever beat being able to ask someone face to face about their life and experiences.

It was inevitable that this would happen but not any less sad for that and it’s an unavoidable fact that one day we’ll be saying farewell to the last Second World War veteran in just the same way.

The best way to honour them all is to remember what they were fighting against and strive to make sure that we don’t have to fight against it again.

Now, that’s a real legacy.