Sunday, 11 November 2007

Remembering

My friend Debbie ,you know Debs Dabs (shes in my side bar )made this graphic for me ,Thanks Debs you are so clever ...

Like many of you I have been watching the service of Rememberance ,at the Cenetaph,on the TV  ,watching members of the royal family, led by the Queen (what an amazing lady ,I watched her lay her wreath, pause ..then walk backwards down those steps ,shes over eighty ! )lay wreaths of poppys to our fallen in the wars ,this ceremony has been taking place since 1918 ,but is even more important now as we still have young men ,going of to war ,and not all of them are coming back .........

Two years ago ,when I had been writing my journal for about six weeks,  I posted the following entry ,with apologies to those of you that read it then ,I am posting it again .

Sixty seven years ago ,on another November day a young man couldnt cope any more ......

 At the going down of the sun and in the morning.....

As I begin this entry ,the time is ~~10.57,on the eleventh of the eleventh ,it feels appropriate to tell you about an uncle ,I never met ,My Uncle Jack ,he was my Dads younger brother ,I never met him but he was often spoken of with lots of love, sometimes with lots of laughter because I gather he was quite mischievous, as a young boy, And quite a "leg puller”, when in his youth .One story I remember (little pitchers have big ears ) my Granny telling ~~she was storing some apples for Christmas ,under her bed!! on a large tray and would check them from time to time for bad ones ! She realised though that the apples were disappearing so she ,became vigilant ,when Jack thought no one was watching ,he crept up the stairs ,unknown to him watched by his Mother from the stairs where she could see into her bedroom, he was lying on his belly ,half under the bed  with crunching noises coming from, under the bed Granny crept up and to use her words,” Slapped his arse ,and said caught you ,you little bugger !"She always told this story with a proud chuckle and wiped away a tear, Uncle Jack was popular with every one, had lots of girl friends until he became engaged to "Aunty" Dorothy, a lovely girl from the next village.

And then came the war ,my Uncle was called up along with thousands of other men to fight for his country .I don’t recall any more of the story prior to this ,but he was badly shot at Dunkirk,dont know how he got home .but this happened in the May of 1940,he was hospitalized ,patched up ,and sent home to recover ,but in the November ,was due to go back to the hospital for more surgery .Uncle Jack had, had all his private parts shot away, and according to an older cousin who sadly ,recently passed away, she could remember putting her fingers into the holes in his legs ! My Mother, who was pregnant with me , then (I was born the following February ) asked Uncle Jack ,would he be home for Christmas ,his reply Oh yes Phyllis,yes Ive got some thing planned ,A couple of days before he was due to return to the hospital ,he went over to the wash house across the yard at the back of the house and shot himself through the head ,my Granny heard the shot ,................after finding her son ,she ran the seventy yards or so to our house for my Dad ,who was home for his lunch .I wont do any more …….

Aunty Dorothy I can remember ,I can clearly see some brown gloves she knitted for me ,so she must have been around for some time after ,and I can also remember every one getting excited at wedding photos of her ,She married an American air man and went back to America, with him after the war ,I do hope she had a happy life .

When the war was over, I can also remember standing by my Dads side at a service in our Church when the plaque was unveiled, with the names of the men from our village including J Giddings, who had lost their lives that we might be free, I wouldn’t have been very old but I can,still hear the last post being sounded, and singing the hymn Oh,Valiant Hearts.

                     Have  Blessed Sunday ....love Jan xx

40 comments:

blpltt said...

What a truly poignant story, Jan.  Makes you remember those who did survive, but with such terrible wounds, burns, etc. So hard to live with.
Bunny xx

jeanno43 said...

Yes, Jan, like you I was waiting for the service this morning.  Nice to see William lay a wreath for the first time.  I also watched the Festival of Remembrance last night.  Your poor Uncle, such a touching story and what a terrible shock for his family.  We tend to forget that so many came home terribly injured physically and mentally.  There were others who did the same thing as your Uncle.  Wars leave indelible scars on those who fight in them, they are never quite the same again.

http://journals.aol.co.uk/jeanno43/JeannettesJottings/

jaymact1 said...

Lovely entry Jan and a very poinant story I remember reading it last time and I was very moved.   Love Joan.

jlocorriere05 said...

It must have been so hard for your uncle to carry on trying to live a normal life after sustaining those injuries. I hope he found peace in heaven. Let's remember not just those who died but those whose lives were torn apart by war. Blees them all. Jeannette xx  

cayasm said...

I too watched the parade today, and I am always thankful for those who gave their lives. Loved your memories, a touching tribute.

Love

Yasmin

sugarsweet056 said...

A lovely tribute.
God bless them all.
Sugar

lindapaterson177 said...

A fitting tribute, and a sad story and today is about all men and woman who have lost their lives to allow us to live freely and we must never forget that.
bella xx

jmoqueen said...

Awwww a lovely entry :)

Jenny

http://journals.aol.co.uk/Jmoqueen/MyLife

pharmolo said...

Who knows what stories lay behind the faces of the 10,000 that paraded down Whitehall this morning, Jan? A deeply sad story you told there, very touching.

Guido

kirkbyj05 said...

This was a lovely tribute Jan.  And a very poignant story of your dear Uncle Jack.
May God Rest his soul and all those other men who lost their lives for our sakes.
They are the Blessed. Rembering them always.

Jeanie xx

haileen2003 said...

A very sad but loving Tribute Jan....my Grandfather was in the First World War, he was injured with Shrapnel, but did come 'Home'...I have a lovely Picture of him in Uniform, and I did get to meet him.

lindachapmanuk said...

That was a lovely story about Uncle Jack, until the end of course...it was very moving Jan. So many young men suffered like he did, but I did laugh at the apples story! Linda xx

lanurseprn said...

What a beautiful tribute, Jan. Thank you for sharing your story.
Hugs..Pam xoxox

egre328 said...

Oh, Jan......how sad.  We hear of the loss of loved ones in the wars and, though we pay our tribute and do remember their sacrifice..........it does come as a shock when this loss is so personalised.............God bless Uncle Jack.  Eileenx

cornwalldreckly said...

Jan, that is such a sad story and sadly there were so very many who suffered terribly like your uncle.  It is good to know that he is still remembered with love.  It is the individual stories that make the wickedness of war real to us.  Hopefully we can all do our little bit to make our world a kinder place as a tribute to those like your uncle whose lives have been devastated by war.

And yes, you are right our Queen is amazing.

msecz said...

I couldn't walk backwards much less down steps too.... job well done for your queen. I especially enjoyed her mother and later getting a book about her life.
Sandra

ally123130585918 said...

Jan what a moving entry ~ God bless Uncle Jack ~ and all our other Military Service Men from past wars to the ones going on today ~ Ally x

lsfp1960 said...

What a sad story.  That poor man.  And how sad for his entire family.  Thanks for sharing his story.  Linda in Washington state

irisclyde said...

A touching tribute, how sad and sadder still that there must be lots of similar cases of lost loved ones, past and present.
http://journals.aol.co.uk/irisclyde/LaDolceVita

astoriasand said...

So many maimed Jan so many killed.A very sad story of yours.I think we all lost someone..I lost an uncle 21 yrs of age,whom I never got the chance to meet.But I do have a photogragh of him,and what a bonny young lad he was too,he was my Mothers younger brother.I too watched the sevice today .Thankyou for your comment .I have just placed a few pics in mine from the TV service.I will be back commenting in full on everyones journals hopefully soon,I do not feel well enough to go all round the board as I say..I took the pics whilst resting and watching in.I love the graphic Debbie made.Docs in the morning ,so heres hoping I feel better tomorrow sometime.Take Care God Bless Kath
astoriasand http://journals.aol.co.uk/astoriasand/MYSIMPLERHYMES

faircolleen said...

Oh what a sad story about Jack. . I remember you telling this. . .was it really two years ago?It must have been terrible for him living with such wounds and the shock for his family too.May he rest in peace forever more.

gaboatman said...

Jan
Such vivid memories and well shared.  Most of us have relatives who fought in the great war.  I have an unlce who was in the death march to Bataan in the Philippines.  I adored this uncle throughout my youth.  It was  not until I was a grown man that my family finally informed me that the war had changed my uncle and that he brecame a chronic alcoholic because of his experiences in the Philippines.  That explained why so manny times when I visited that area that he was either reported to be sick or out on an extended hunting expidition.  They did not want me to lose my image of my hero.  I never lost my image of my uncle even after I learned of his alcoholism.  He was a true American hero.  I miss him so much!  He passed away several years ago, but he will live on in my heart!
Sam

marainey1 said...

So many wounded and dead it breaks your heart.  Like you uncle stresses of injuries or of things that have happened have wounded their minds too.  I know of a young man recently returned from Iraq that has nightmares and nerve problems since he returned.  Wars are terrible things and we must never forget those brave souls who give so much.  'On Ya' - ma

wfhbear said...

As one Veteran I thank you for this entry. All the Veterans of all the wars need our thanks and sometimes our understanding. There are many who can't or wont talk about their time of military service. (did you get the pictures yet?) My best Regards, Bill.

hugsdoodlewacky said...

((((((((((((((((((((HUSTOYOU)))))))))))))))))))))I loved the story that was told here,but so sad to hear what happend to your Uncle.Thank you for sharing.Have a nice evening.

mariealicejoan said...

Thanks for sharing this Jan.  I am so blessed in that I have never had to live in a counry during my lifetime that has experienced the perils of war, neither have I had to send off a son to war, or had a father that went.  I guess I am pretty lucky.  I am ever grateful for the sacrifices made by these fallen heros.
Marie
http://journals.aol.co.uk/mariealicejoan/MariesMuses/

wldconnie said...

Very moving entry. It is so relevant as I do not think we look after the victims of war very well. Those injured in recent wars are not compensated well enough nor are the widows left behind after their husbands die in battle. It is a disgrace in these modern times. Love Conniexx

nedmoh said...

Hi Jan ,I read this entry with tears running down  my face ,Its so sad that this happened to Uncle Jack ,like so many other young men that were lost  their lives .It also made me laugh as I could imagine  Granny ,saying caught you  ,you little bugger ,to him .You have written this so well and such a lovely tribute to  Uncle Jack ,our Dad would have been so proud of you too I know ........love you .......Jeanxx

luddie343 said...

Oh Jeanie how this moved me, truly, deeply.  I had an Uncle Jack, too, I wrote about him 6/3 when he died and again 6/12.  The depth of feeling you put into this was shown in unexpected areas, then to be confronted with the truth you bravely put forward.  It's a sorry tradition that people don't talk about suicides in their families, for it's part of the human condition, overflowing with emotional conflict, and worthy of our memories.  Always keep yours true.  CATHY

beckiepainton said...

Wow, I dont remeber reading this, maybe I wasnt jouraling then, I dont remeber.Great entry though, i could picture everything, Beckie x

drb1064 said...

Very sad entry which shows the effects of war are far fetching and last much longer than the conflicts actually do.
Debbie
xxx

funnyface0s0 said...

Hi Jan - such a heartfelt entry.
Luv Jaynee x

cacklinrosie101 said...

I got the chills, Jan.  War is so sad because it destroys so many young lives.  Poor kid.  But we do have our freedom because of these brave souls.  xx Chris

sunnyside46 said...

how sad
and how long will it go on?
Marti

plieck30 said...

Very interesting story Jan. Thank you for sharing. Paula

deborahmsharpe said...

I watched a couple of teenagers asking questions and trying to be facetious to a man selling poppies "..." http://www.crazybrits.co.uk/2007/11/10/lest-we-forget/

bronny42 said...

Lovely story Jan we must never forget, the young people of today don't seem to care very much. I will always care. thanks for sharing it with us. Kathie.

siennastarr said...

I know I'm late getting here (What's new? lol), but that was a lovely, heartwarming story, Jan...  Thank you for sharing it!

Love and hugs
jackie

kaydeejay5449 said...

A very nice Veteran's tribute.  Touched my heart!
Hugs, Kathy

mleppard06 said...

hi jan. thanks for the warm welcome. What a lovely story. I have been talking to my 6 yr old son about rememberance and war. I am trying to keep the memories alive by passing them down to him. take care mrs t x
http://journals.aol.co.uk/mleppard06/eternity/