Western Morning News (Saturday) - - Letters - Jac­que­line F Gibbs St Issey. Kevin Pyne Dart­mouth A Jury (White­field) Tav­i­s­tock B Gelder, Bude RNA

Pay­ing the ul­ti­mate price for free­dom

As many are aware Ar­mistice Day is be­ing com­mem­o­rated this year on Sun­day, Novem­ber 11 and marks the an­niver­sary of the sign­ing of the Ar­mistice that sig­nalled the end of the Great War in Europe in 1918.

I would like to say a sim­ple but since e thank-you to the WMN ( Novem­ber 5) for the way in which “The Voice of the West­coun­try” col­umn was writ­ten and its sug­ges­tion there are.... “Lessons to be learned from his­tory of the Great War.”

The wear­ing of a poppy, the lay­ing of a wreath or a wooden cross is a mat­ter of choice, Any de­cent per­son should re­spect their wishes. I was sad­dened to read van­dals launched an at­tack on a Re­mem­brance gar­den in Ed­in­burgh.

In marked con­trast it was so up­lift­ing to see on line some pho­to­graphs show­ing sev­eral stages in the mov­ing ritual dis­play­ing 10,000 flames which are lit each evening in the moat at the Tower of London for the eight nights lead­ing up to and in­clud­ing Ar­mistice Day and aptly named “Be­yond the Deep­en­ing Shad­ows; The Tower Re­mem­bers.”

I will con­tinue to wear my poppy, not in glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of war, but in re­mem­ber­ing all the fallen who paid the ul­ti­mate price to give me some­thing un­de­ni­ably so pre­cious to me, my free­dom. I have been in Hol­land

and it very odd to walk in a coun­try that has been in­vaded, es­pe­cially at re­mem­brance time. Many times we have vis­ited bat­tle fields in France and Bel­gium and Hol­land. They make you shiver, es­pe­cially in the Somme, which we vis­ited. We stayed in a farm­house in ap­palling weather and the war was never ever far away or the thoughts of the blood of the young peo­ple so eas­ily spilled.

How lucky my gen­er­a­tion is not to have had a war and that was why our wiser el­ders tied us into Europe .

EU helped pre­vent an­other world war Re­mem­ber Royal and Mer­chant Navies

No men­tion has been made in the WMNthis Re­mem­brance Week of the RN or MN con­tri­bu­tion to WW1. My fa­ther born in Ply­mouth in 1897 was at the Bat­tle of Jut­land and for two years to 1918 and then (even at age 42) at sea in MN for the whole of WW2 on Atlantic and Russian Con­voys. My great un­cle born in Clovelly and aged 30, mar­ried with a child, was mas­ter of a mer­chant ves­sel off France when a tor­pedo hit his cabin and he was lost at sea. This is but a small ex­am­ple but one feels strongly their sac­ri­fice should be ac­knowl­edged in their own county.

Spare two min­utes to hon­our the fallen

There has been a surge of cov­er­age re­gard­ing re­mem­brance, in par­tic­u­lar that it is 100yrs since the con­clu­sion of WW1. Very apt that should be re­spected and hon­oured. How­ever, there have been sev­eral ma­jor con­fronta­tions since 1918 – not least the hor­rific events of WW2 and the var­i­ous the­atres of the world. There has also been a mi­nor com­ment on the wear­ing of red or white pop­pies. To each his own.Cur­rent ser­vice­men, exser­vice­men do not wear com­mem­o­ra­tive medals on on Re­mem­brance Sun­day for their glo­ri­fi­ca­tion­but more in hon­our to those of their Op­pos who did not make it back.

If you can at­tend on Sun­day, at 11am please do so. If you not, stand at 11am for two and sim­ply re­mem­ber them! Some­times a sin­gle dodgy deal can un­der­mine an en­tire busi­ness. Take Josh Archer’s im­pulse buy of half a lorry load of waste bis­cuits. The young en­tre­pre­neur, who fancies him­self as the next Lord Sugar, saw it as a great op­por­tu­nity to buy cheap feed for the Brook­field dairy cows. Un­for­tu­nately, he didn’t bother to check it out with the fam­ily first.

He seems to have con­ve­niently for­got­ten that the Brook­field herd was en­tirely re­mod­elled a few years back to pro­duce milk from cows graz­ing grass. This was the big idea Ruth brought back from New Zealand. It was meant to put new life into the Brook­field dairy busi­ness. And maybe into Ruth and David’s mar­riage too.

Josh may have for­got­ten but his sis­ter Pip cer­tainly hadn’t. There’s no way she was go­ing to al­low bis­cuit waste to be fed to her pre­cious cows, not even dur­ing the win­ter “dry” pe­riod when they wouldn’t be pro­duc­ing milk. Re­fined car­bo­hy­drates in the form of bak­ery waste aren’t any bet­ter for cat­tle than they are for peo­ple.

Cows are ru­mi­nant an­i­mals. This means evo­lu­tion has equipped them with a huge fer­men­ta­tion cham­ber – the ru­men – in which oblig­ing bac­te­ria digest grass and other fi­brous veg­e­ta­tion so the an­i­mal can use the nu­tri­ents. When cows are fed starchy foods like bis­cuits they can eas­ily get sick. One well-known West­coun­try cat­tle nu­tri­tion­ist – now sadly no longer with us – used to call it “Box­ing Day dis­ease”.

In other words the poor old dairy cow gets to feel like we do af­ter a day of over-in­dul­gence dur­ing the sea­sonal fes­tiv­i­ties.

Know­ing this Pip put her foot down. She wasn’t hav­ing this toxic stuff any­where near her beloved cows. That ought to have been the end of the mat­ter. Josh was un­der­stand­ably piqued at hav­ing to take the fi­nan­cial hit. But it might have been a worth­while les­son for the young en­tre­pre­neur. It’s a good idea to con­sult your fam­ily part­ners be­fore do­ing a feed deal that’s just a lit­tle too good to be true.

No doubt he’d have found some way of cut­ting his losses. He could have thrown in the bis­cuits as a free bonus on the next sec­ond-hand muck-spreader he sold through his farm ma­chin­ery web­site. Or he could have done a deal with Justin to put the food waste through the Es­tate’s anaer­o­bic di­gester, sit­ting there hum­ming in its gar­ish, se­cu­rity-lit com­pound on the edge of the vil­lage.

But at this point David made a bizarre busi­ness de­ci­sion of his own. To pacify his squab­bling off­spring, he agreed to the of­fend­ing ma­te­rial be­ing fed to the Here­ford beef cat­tle rather than the dairy cows. What­ever was he think­ing of ? Beef cat­tle are ru­mi­nants too, he knows that. They’re just as likely to get sick from eat­ing these toxic carbs as the dairy cows.

Be­sides with Christ­mas nearly upon us, he and Ruth will soon be sell­ing their qual­ity beef cuts to the lo­cals. What sort of mes­sage will it send out when word gets around the vil­lage that the herd’s be­ing fed on im­ported food waste? Not a great mar­ket­ing strat­egy I’d have thought, es­pe­cially when meat-eat­ing’s al­ready coming in for a fair bit of flack.

Here’s my ad­vice to the Brook­field team this Christ­mas. If you want to mar­ket good beef take a trip to Philip War­ren’s won­der­ful shop in Launce­s­ton. They de­scribe them­selves as “gra­ziers and mas­ter butch­ers” farm­ing and sell­ing in­dige­nous breeds of Bri­tish cat­tle, in­clud­ing Here­fords. Just like they do at Brook­field.

The mild cli­mate of Devon and Corn­wall pro­vides a long graz­ing sea­son from early March to Novem­ber, say War­rens. This means the beef is “truly grass fed nat­u­rally” so con­sumers get a very healthy and nutri­tious food. Spe­cial beef at a time when we’re all be­ing urged to eat less meat but bet­ter.

At Brook­field Farm, the Archer fam­ily also strive to keep their cat­tle on pas­ture for as long as pos­si­ble. So I’m baf­fled why they’re di­lut­ing the ben­e­fits by feed­ing junk food to their cat­tle even as a one off. Maybe it’s time David and Ruth stopped fret­ting about Lynda’s up-coming Christ­mas pro­duc­tion of

The Can­ter­bury Tales – due to go on in Brook­field barn – and con­cen­trated on keep­ing the farm on track.

David Archer would be mad to feed his Here­fords on im­ported food waste

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