Mail says: why you should wear your poppy with pride

Burton Mail - - News - By JULIE CROUCH julie.crouch@reach­plc.com @jule­scrouch

REMEMBRANCE Sun­day this year will be a very poignant mile­stone as we mark 100 years since the end of World War One.

Seven­teen mil­lion died dur­ing the 1914-1918 con­flict in a war which saw mas­sive Bri­tish casualties, with 700,000 killed over the four-year con­flict.

The to­tal num­ber of deaths in the Great War also in­cluded many civil­ians and Ger­man casualties. The fig­ure in­cludes 2,450 men from the Bur­ton and district area, which in­cor­po­rated parts of South Der­byshire at the time.

Few towns or villages in Bri­tain were un­af­fected by the 1914-18 con­flict, with count­less fa­thers, sons and brothers sac­ri­ficed.

The fig­ures, 100 years later, make for shock­ing read­ing.

In Rolle­ston-on-Dove 153 men from the vil­lage went to fight in France, with 27 not re­turn­ing. That’s 27 fam­i­lies left grief-stricken and hav­ing to live with­out their loved ones.

Al­re­was lost 26, Yox­all 36, Rep­ton 36, Netherseal 15, Ne­whall and Stan­ton 40, Hat­ton 15, Bur­nas­ton four, Hil­ton lost nine, Woodville 38, Scrop­ton 16 and Willing­ton 16, ac­cord­ing to the web­site der­byshire­warmemo­ri­als. com.

These men bravely fought for their coun­try and died in hor­rific cir­cum­stances, many in the no­to­ri­ous trenches where so many per­ished.

There were also many men who did re­turn but were per­ma­nently scarred by the ter­ri­ble sights they had wit­nessed – men­tal wounds many would carry with them for the rest of their lives.

The im­pact on many vil­lage com­mu­ni­ties would have been huge – with a whole gen­er­a­tion of young men wiped out.

We can also be proud to­day of great hero­ism from lo­cal men, in­clud­ing the ac­tions of peo­ple like Lance Cor­po­ral Wil­liam Colt­man, from Bur­ton, who, de­spite not fir­ing a sin­gle bul­let saved dozens of lives as the stretcher-bearer who braved fierce en­emy fire to res­cue men ly­ing in­jured on the bat­tle­field.

It is vi­tal that we never for­get the great sac­ri­fice that this gen­er­a­tion made for us. That’s why on this highly sig­nif­i­cant Remembrance Sun­day we need to show our grat­i­tude to those brave souls by at­tend­ing one of the many Remembrance pa­rades and ser­vices.

There are many to choose from, in­clud­ing the three main ser­vices in the area in Bur­ton, Swadlin­cote and Ut­tox­eter. It’s easy to talk our­selves into think­ing that be­cause we’ve bought a poppy, we don’t need to at­tend a ser­vice.

But this year, on the cen­te­nary of the end of the four-year con­flict, it’s time to go along and pay our re­spects and demon­strate our heart­felt grat­i­tude to those who made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice.

It’s a day to wear your poppy with pride and show that you are in­debted to those brave young men and women whose lives were cut short in pur­suit of the free­doms we en­joy to­day 100 years on.

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