Why we need to re­mem­ber

The Herald - - OPINION -

IN 1914 Pri­vate Thomas Mcin­doe went to en­list and was rejected as look­ing too young. He went home, put on his bowler hat, re­turned and was ac­cepted into the 12th Bat­tal­ion, Mid­dle­sex Regt. He was still un­der 16.

In 1915 Mrs M. Hall re­quested war work and was sent to a mu­ni­tions fac­tory where for 10 hours each day, with only one break, she and her co-work­ers slowly turned yel­low as they packed shells. Skin, hair and even toe­nails were af­fected, and the rashes they de­vel­oped were a half-inch thick.

In 1916 Cap­tain Philip Neame, 15th Field Com­pany, Royal En­gi­neers, was in one of the first bri­gades to ever see a tank. At Leuze Wood it broke down; pos­si­bly over­worked by the time of the en­gage­ment on the Somme.

In 1917 at Third Ypres Pri­vate Fred­er­ick Collins of the Royal Tank Corps saw an el­derly priest in a shell­hole giv­ing the Last Rites to an of­fi­cer whose brains had been blown out.

In 1918 Trooper Alexan­der Jamieson of the 11th Bat­tal­ion, The Royal Scots Fusiliers, as they cleared Ypres, heard shout­ing – the war was over.

And Sergeant Ma­jor Richard Tobin, Hood Bat­tal­ion, Royal Naval Divi­sion said that they were stunned. The guns had stopped; the fight­ing stopped; the killing stopped. He thought of the slaugh­ter, the hard­ships, the waste and the friends he had lost.

(The above are all taken from For­got­ten Voices of the Great War by Max Arthur. A very fine book.)

Our debt to those who served and died, and to those who served and sur­vived, of­ten to live with tor­mented mem­o­ries of all they had been through as they bat­tled for our free­dom, can never be re­paid. We must al­ways re­mem­ber them. Thelma Ed­wards,

Old Com­rades Hall (my house but formerly used by the British Le­gion), Hume,

Kelso.

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