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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 

We shall remember them etc by Spursfan on 11 November 2010 10:59am
Well as I write this it is nearly time for the 2 minutes silence.

Luckily I shan't be putting my foot in it as I did LAST year!

We had our Turkish friend staying, and on 11th November we were taking him somewhere up the motorway. We stopped halfway at a service staion for the loos and so Tosun could stretch his legs. I was bostin' for the loo (as we say round these parts) so I went in first, and was surprised to see people just standing around! My first thought was that there had been a bomb alert, but as I made my way up the stairs, it came to me in a flash - it was the 2 minute silence!!

I had no choice but to carry on walking to the loo, but I felt dreadful!! And my footsteps echoed no matter how hard I tried to creep!!

Not as if I didn't know about it being 11th either, we'd spent the journey discussing it with Hakan, telling him how it is observed here, and vice versa!! It had gone out of my head though!

Re: We shall remember them etc by tucsonmike on 11 November 2010 11:44am
Always remember.
Re: We shall remember them etc by Loretto on 11 November 2010 1:16pm

Poppy Day is Veterans' Day here you know?

My maternal grandfather and his brother fought in the English Army in WW1. William Hannon survived the war but his 19 year old brother didn't.
Re: We shall remember them etc by Spursfan on 11 November 2010 3:51pm
My late Mom was born in 1914 - I used to tease her that SHE was the cause of the war!! She was also a 'late' baby, and I can remember her saying one (or two?) of her brothers were in the Guards during WWI but I can't remember where. They all survived to ripe old ages anyway.

My Dad was in Burma in WWII. He had volunteered as soon as war was declared, but because he had a young child (my sister was born in Sept 1938) they wouldn't accept him. It was later in the war when Japan joined in that he was accepted (at a guess he was probably around 30 when he was enlisted).

He joined the Signals, and was trained in the "new-fangled" Radar. Not sure much about what he did in the war apart from a couple of things he said. His job was to take messages to and presumably from Mountbatten, and I can remember him talking about riding this rickety motorbike along the Kyhber Pass (or did I dream the last bit? Does it sound plausible? Some Pass or other anyhow.). He took no lives in the war (which as a teen I thought was awful but now I think "that's great"). In fact he was ordered to shoot a Japanese who was climbing the radio mast in the camp - Dad refused. I don't know why he refused - certainly after the war and even when I was a child in the 60s he absolutely hated the Japanese and wouldn't have anything made in Japan in the house. Perhaps he just couldn't bear the thought of shooting somebody - not matter who - in cold blood like that. I think I quite admire him now for that.

I also remember him saying how much he admired the Ghurkhas he was with. Not least bcause he would line up for breakfast behind one of them, and then when they went to refuse the bacon, he would say "I'll have it!!" But he also said how brave they were.

He also used to talk about the rats in camp, and how they had to put grease on the legs of their beds to stop the rats climbing up, and things like that.

My father was baptised in Calcutta.

It would have been his 98th birthday on Sunday, Remembrance Day (he died 29 years ago).
Re: We shall remember them etc by Loretto on 11 November 2010 8:11pm
Rats! Oh God. I couldn't handle that. Fair dues to him for refusing to shoot the Japanese guy Anne. But when i read that I instantly thought of those who did take lives and how they feel about it today. John shared a great video about a week ago which told the story of a young man in Iraq/or Afghanistan, remind me which John, and he was definitely haunted mentally by the things he had done.
Re: We shall remember them etc by Spursfan on 11 November 2010 8:23pm
Yes I totally agree with you. I saw a documentary once, it may have been not long after the Falklands, can't remember, about the conflict. One of the soldiers involved spoke about how he'd had to fight an Argentinian one-to-one and, of course, had to kill him (or be killed). I can remmeber him saying that it isn't like in the films, that a person dies slowly, and that this other guy had been begging him to save him. It really brought it home to me that it isn't a Rambo film!!

As a teen I was a bit embarrassed that my Dad hadn't killed that guy (not that we all discussed the war at school).
Re: We shall remember them etc by Loretto on 11 November 2010 9:01pm
I know an Argentinian who fought in the Falklands and when we talk about it he will not go into details, it torments him.
Re: We shall remember them etc by Spursfan on 12 November 2010 8:29am
I must be the only English person (or British) who thinks, and thought at the time, that Las Malvinas should have been returned to Argentina!!

Oh yes, I'm proud of our troops etc etc but to me it was like as if the Isle of Man had been captured years ago by Peru (say) and we wanted it back! Of COURSE we should be able to fight for it back! And GET it back!

So sorry, I feel the 'Falklands' War was wrong wrong wrong. Las Malvinas are off its bl***y coast for a start! And to top things off, if a country invades another's land we get all uppity and on our collective high horse about it!! Hypocritical or what???

Get real, UK!!
Re: We shall remember them etc by Loretto on 12 November 2010 1:41pm
Re: We shall remember them etc by Spursfan on 14 November 2010 3:26pm
Happy birthday to my Dad.

14/11/11 - 28/11/80

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