About 100 hundred years ago millions of young men fought in the first total war.  (I find it astonishing that so few people today have any real knowledge of this.)  Those young men were reported as heroes, but never saw it that way themselves.  Today I bring at least part of the story of three brothers from the street where four generations of my family have lived; some knew these young men.

I have not dealt with uploading a pdf file on my blog before, so if it all goes Apollo 13, let me know.  Anyway, here it is:  luke-wwi  Anyway, this seemed the best way to deal with this.

Cenotaph at St James, Ogley Hay, Brownhills, 2016.

On the face of it, this is just a list of names, though some will recognise a grandfather or other relative.  Yet these young men saw things that we cannot imagine; mostly, they did not want to tell their deeds.  They are why decent people wear poppies on and leading up to Armistice Day, only one month away.  They are not alone, of course, but they were the first.

What differs from most other memorials is that these will last much longer than the sandstone slabs of our ancestors that are now hard to read, have eroded to anonimity, or just disappeared altogether.

If you know the story behind someone else on this memorial, please get in touch.

We will remember them.

2 thoughts on “Remembrance

  1. So well put Andrew, when i stood under the Menin Gate, Ypres and tried to read the names, of all the young men who Died in that terrible battle and also when i went to Monte Cassino Italy , going after into the British Cemetary and again you see men (well Boys really) 17 years of age the one was, what a terrible waste of life.

    You stand there and think, to me and you it is just a name on on a wall, a stone, but every name had a family , some one’s Son, some one’s Husband, some one’s loved one, we owe them so much.


    1. Thanks, Martin. What I find overwhelming is just quantity. You look at all those names and can’t take it in: and yet you see but a minority. I guess that if, by some miracle, we were to receive a £1 coin for all those soldiers who took part on all sides we would be able to see no land. I didn’t visit the Tower of London to see those 800,000-plus poppies, but, while clearly impressive, they, too, were a minority of the participants when you include French, German, Russian, Turk and so many countless (and probably uncounted) others. And then there were the people who supported the war effort: the factory workers, ambulance drivers, nurses, doctors, people who knitted socks or sent warm clothing, and, in our family, mined coal.

      BTW if there is something you would like me to look into please say so.

      Thanks again. Andrew.


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