Strange times indeed. The spineless PM walks off crying, the front runner to replace the PM is Boris and he has gone against all his past history and is now “resolutely” pro- Brexit. Meanwhile other front runners completely fail to defend Roger Scruton against a left wing ambush and all are agreed that paratroopers in a war situation should once again be tried for their actions. But do not lose hope quite yet, the murder inquest into the London Bridge murders, harks back to an older tradition. The Londoners and visitors didn’t fall for the ludicrous Government advice to “run, hide and tell”, rather they went to the assistance of their friends and strangers will little regard to their own personal safety. No sitting in the locked policecar for these people, no avoiding contact because they didn’t have a vest on. One hero took three knife wielding fanatics on with just his skateboard!
This year’s tour of the Flanders battlefield’s was more moving than ever. Earlier heroes grow in my estimation each year, if that’s possible. Here, the proud Ulstermen march through the Menin gate.
The sound of the pipes and drums is always stirring. So many veterans of later wars were visibly touched by the Ulstermen.
The number of hand shakes and salutes that the marchers received was amazing. Here, at least, true valour is remembered.
The day after we visited the Devonshires cemetery on the Somme battlefield. This small copse is a wholly different in character. To paraphrase, ” They held this trench and they hold it still…….”
I believe that the sculpture near Mametz Wood is the most evocative piece of work I have ever seen. The site of the attack of the 38th Welch Division is much visited now but the owner of the wood no longer permits visitors to move around the objective. No bad thing when one of our number brought back an unexploded shell on a previous visit!
The Newfoundlander’s Park is always immaculately kept. The student curators do a fantastic job of looking after the site. On a bright May afternoon it is still possible to imagine the sacrifice and honour.
We managed to visit the Lochnegar Crater this year. We had an interesting talk with the volunteers on the site. They have added information screens at various locations and, although not to everyone’s taste, they certainly provided a valuable insight to the younger members of the tour.
Leaving Arras, one passes the French memorial at Notre Dame Lorette and the newly installed Circle of Rememberance. If any stop on the tour fails to impress with the scale of the sacrifice then here at least the loss is palpable. When the pansy left tells us to “run and hide”, please tell them that there is an alternative. When bravery is called for, it is to be hoped that we have not lost the tradition of earlier generations, even if our leaders have and don’t want you to remember either.
It certainly is a shame. Scruton has been villianised, brave soldiers even more so. I’ve never had the pleasure to see an Orange March, though hopefully sometime in the future. I have my orange Rangers top for such an occasion 😅
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Every year we remember the fallen. Just a pity that people and politician’s seem to forget what they fought for!
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