Mail says: why you should wear your poppy with pride
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.