One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life  (Psalm 27:4)
Elizabeth McDonald
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Bayith Home  |  Political Cultural and Social Issues

Remembrance Sunday
At the Going Down of the Sun, and in the Morning, We Will Remember Them

The Centenary of Armistice Day ~
The Great War 1918~2018
11th November 2018

Quotes and Comments

The First World War   |   Film: They Shall Not Grow Old   |   The Second World War   |   Poor Fools   |   In Flanders Fields

The Great War 1914~1918: Articles and Videos   |   The Great War 1914~1918: Poems   |   The Great War 1914~1918: Books and Websites

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The First World War: The Great War

"My mother, born in 1905, lived in the giant shadow of that war. Her father and two elder brothers, just young lads, died in the first year of that war ... my mother, then aged 10, and her two older sisters were put in the workhouse here in Norwich. She remained there until she was 18. It in reality was a prison system. My mother often related this tragic episode in her life. Thankfully that workhouse system ended in 1948. Many throughout the world at that time who never saw battle in that war, were nonetheless victims of it"
[viewer's comment at source].

"When I was a child of about 9 or 10 years old, I used to stay with a bedridden old man while his wife travelled by bus to the nearest town to do her weekly shopping trip. He was on death's door and mostly slept, while I sat on a chair by his bed. What fascinated me though, were the clusters of medals which hung from a nail on his bedroom wall. In one of his lucid moments I asked him about them. He told me they were from his times in The Great War, and in the Irish War for Independence. He showed me a scarred hollow in the side of his neck, which he received when a shell hit his trench in France. He died a little after that ... His wife had a great big medal hanging from a nail on the stair wall, and I also asked her about it. She cried as she told me of how it was awarded posthumously to her 19 year old brother who died at The Somme. The couple are all but forgotten now, and as I write this, their little cottage is being bulldozed to make way for progress"
[viewer's comment at source].

"My grandfather just recently passed away and what always hits me is how different the British were back then. He hates what has become of England today but I'm happy he got to vote leave; just wish he got to see England free again. The work ethic, intelligence, manliness is the polar opposite of Britain today. He was a gentleman and always honest ... Britain is a really messed up place now ... British values and culture has all but gone"
[viewer's comment at source].

"My grandad, 83, knew many family members who fought in World War One. One was captured by the Germans,, they were going to shoot his leading officer who was wounded and he begged them not to, so they made him carry him on his back for miles till they reached the place they were going to be held prisoner till they could be moved elsewhere. He carried him for miles, just to reach the end of the journey, place him down, and find he was already dead"
[viewer's comment at source].

"I remember as a boy my great grandfather, still sharp of mind, standing next to him at our little cenotaph on July 1st in our little town with the captured German howitzers flanking it. I remember him laying down the wreath as they called out the names of his brothers and cousins who never came home after that fateful day; the Big July Drive. At Gallipoli, he scaled its cliffs and was one of the last men to leave the peninsula. At the Somme, he raced forward with his friends and brothers beside him until he was thee last man still standing. Auchonvillers, Langemarck, Monchy, Passchendaele, Arras... again and again he faced death until he was one of a small handful of men to come home to out small seaside town. His son would do the same when his turn came. Dieppe, Caen, Verriers Ridge, Falaise, The Scheldt, and the Hochwald Gap. Names and places etched in fire and blood in the heart of our people. The magnitude of our loss is almost incomprehensible to grasp. I hope Britain wakes up from its dreadful slumber"
[viewer's comment at source].

"My great great uncle fought in both world wars and turned down promotion to stand and fight with his fellow men. Something that has been lost amongst these so-called men these days"
[viewer's comment at source].


Film: They Shall Not Grow Old

"As [Brian Jackson] says [the Great War] is personal to probably every family in Britain and the Commonwealth. When I saw the change from black and white to colour, I almost cried. And possibly somewhere in this documentary will be a Great Uncle of mine that was killed in the support trenches on his way to the front at the Somme, Pt Arthur Harry Drew. We will re member them"
[viewer's comment at source].

"I'd love to see [this film] ... seeing what my great uncle, Leland Stanford Westover, saw during his time in the great war. He lied about his age only to be K.I.A. at Vimy Ridge April 9, 1917. He was 18 when he died fighting with the 38th Eastern Ontario Regiment of Canada"
[viewer's comment at source].


The Second World War

"In his memoirs of the war years, Lord Halifax, Foreign Secretary, wrote:  'It was just after the fall of France, an event which at the time it happened seemed something unbelievable as to be almost surely unreal, and if not unreal then quite immeasurably catastrophic. Dorothy and I had spent a lovely summer evening walking over the Wolds, and on our way home sat in the sun for half an hour at a point looking across the plain of York. All the landscape of the nearer foreground was familiar - its sights, its sounds, its smells; hardly a field that did not call up some half-forgotten bit of association; the red-roofed village and nearby hamlets, gathered as it were for company round the old grey stone church, where men and women like ourselves, now long dead and gone, had once knelt in worship and prayer. Here in Yorkshire was a true fragment of the undying England, like the White Cliffs of Dover, or any other part of our land that Englishmen have loved. Then the question came, is it possible that the Prussian jackboot will force its way into this countryside to tread and trample over it at will? The very thought seemed an insult and an outrage; much as if anyone were to be condemned to watch his mother, wife or daughter being raped'."
[Lord Halifax, Foreign Secretary, 1940, quoted by one viewer at source].

"A personal letter written from a soldier to his mother, describing how his entire platoon narrowly escaped being wiped out as it faced the Germans in Luxembourg
:  'One of my best friends, Tom, with his whole platoon were pinned down by mortar and artillery fire. They were given the order to move but they couldn't because the enemy had full view of them from a hill and were zeroing their fire on them accurately. Tom is the most conscientious Christian boy I have ever met in the services. He knew something had to be done to save the fifty men. He crawled from his foxhole and looked things over. Seeing the hopelessness of the situation, he lay down behind a tree and prayed earnestly for God to help him. This is true mother... after he prayed a mist or fog rolled down between the two hills, and the whole platoon got out of their foxholes and escaped. They reorganised in a little town behind the lines where there was a church building. They all went in and knelt down to pray and thank the Lord, and then they asked Tom to take the service. This is true mother, and it just shows how much prayer can mean. If that was not an answer to prayer I don't know what is'."
[Joel, a young soldier in Patton's Third Army, quoted at source].


Poor Fools...

"Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks.
Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools.
And their grandchildren are once more slaves."

[D.H. Lawrence]


In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
  That mark our place; and in the sky
  The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
  Loved and were loved, and now we lie
       In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
  The torch; be yours to hold it high.
  If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
       In Flanders fields.

John McCrae, MD,
Canadian Army (1872-1918)




"[T]he foe of which John McCrae wrote were not the people in the opposite trenches.
The foe were tyranny and dictatorship ... our soldiers knew this ...
Yes, we have indeed dropped the torch! Yes, we have indeed broken faith with those who died and lie in Flanders Fields! ...
and yes, we will have to bear the consequences in the years to come..."


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)



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