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