Friday, 11 November 2011

Always remember

And at eleven o'clock on the eleventh of the eleventh of the eleventh, Mr Grigg and I stood in silence outside the church.

I could hear the cawing of rooks overhead, the sound of gunfire in the towns beyond the hills as everyone else's two-minute silence began and ended at different times.

And I thought of my grandfathers, brave old souls, giving it all in the war to end all wars, with my maternal grandfather stopping every now and then to write a poem about it. I thought of my paternal grandfather's best friend, killed in France and lying in the British ceremony at Courcelette, a fact we discovered only through the marvels of internet research a year or so ago.

And I thought of Mr Grigg's uncle, killed on HMS Glorious by the German battleship Scharnhorst in World War II, never to know his nephews, one of whom was named after him. Similar stories repeated to this day,widows and orphans made from the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.

And I thought back further to the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685, when ancestors on both my parents' sides joined their Westcountry comrades to fight against the king's men.

Such sacrifice, such loss. Heads bowed in silence all over the world.

And there on a church tower, a union flag unfurls in the breeze, a gargoyle winks and glints in the sun.


That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. Such a lot of history for one family - and such a legacy of sacrifice for their beliefs.

  2. You have a legacy of patriotism. An one can see the legacy of poetry from your grandfather. Lovely.


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