Since I am now living on the other side of the world to my family and most of my friends this blog is about things I enjoy, things I notice, people I meet, people I miss, history, planning for the future, love and life in general! I guess it's about whatever pops into my head which I want to share with my friends and family... and who knows? I might make some more friends along the way!

10 November, 2005

lest we forget...what was it again?

I have a passion for history and in delving into my own family history I am astounded and saddened by how many members of my great-grandfather's generation were killed in the 'Great War', you know - the one that was supposed to put an end to all other potential wars?

I already knew the statistics of course, and they are staggering. Very little research will tell you how many millions of young men died - not only at ANZAC Cove (& the legends we were brought up with are predominantly true by the way) but at the Somme, the name given to the battles with raged primarily along the valley of the Somme River.

I discovered one sad fact in my research. Although many of my Grandparents generation lost their father's and uncle's, there was one member of my Great-Grandfather's family who, though engaged to be married, did not leave any descendants behind. Samuel Small (my G-Grandfather) had a brother called Frank. Frank was killed on 6th July, 1915 near the Belgiun town of Ypres, and though two other brother were also killed in the Somme, it touched me that he did not have any grand-daughters, or great-grand-daughters to remember his death. So on 11th November each year I get out the tiny photograph of a good looking young man in uniform and great coat, hands in pockets, leaning on an unseen table or chair, and I 'remember' him... because nobody else does.

Why are we still not getting it?

The life each one of us is given by the grace of God, is a gift to be used. I am sure that in the fervour of the time Frank, and his domed brothers, believed they were making a choice with their lives that would change the future for the better. But less than 20 years later millions more would die in another global conflict.

And it still goes on today. Every war is futile, and every life lost in conflict is a life wasted. If the money spent on wars was channelled into water purification, treatment and prevention of the spread of hiv/AIDS, education, food production and research into renewable energy resources we would see a genuine global revolution, and in a very short time too!

So if you are still wondering at my clutching a little photo, and wearing a sprig of rosemary on 11/11 each year, it is not to glorify the soldier, or the act of war. It is to remind me that a young man lost everything, even his potential decendants, and that I have to mourn his lonely, violent passing in order to care enough to do something to prevent all the other, future young men from having to do the same.


Blogger Rhax said...

Fantastic post!!
:'( - u got me feeling all teary!!
I love to listen to Eric Bogle/The Furey's "Green Fields of France" on this date.

2:56 AM

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