We stood in silence on our doorstep this Remembrance Sunday morning, as the great bell of Big Ben from the television inside the house chimed in tandem with our own church clock in the village square.
I thought about my grandfathers who survived the First World War. I thought about my paternal grandfather’s pal, Ernest, who was with the 4th Australian Pioneers when he was killed in action in 1916. He is buried in the British cemetery in Courcelette in northern France.
Six years earlier, he and my grandfather had left Somerset for a new life in Australia. Had it not been for the war, my grandfather would probably have stayed there. Instead, he fought in Gallipoli as a member of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and then Delville Wood in France. On Armistice Day, he returned to Britain on a hospital ship and never went back.
The village square was quiet today, with only us and DJ Landlord observing the two-minute silence in our doorways, the pub fence flanked by giant poppies. Inside, the landlady was busy cooking Sunday roast for takeaways. The pub needs our support now more than ever.
At two minutes past eleven, the shriek of seagulls pierced the air and a tractor towed a large tank of slurry through the square while a noisy motorbike stopped at the junction.
Today’s Sound of Music Through The Square Window was Remembrance Day by Mark Knopfler.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
For The Fallen, Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
Love, Maddie x