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Discussion in 'Personal' started by lindenlea, Nov 9, 2018.
What a very touching tribute at Coventry Station.
Yes. We who are old enough to remember beloved grandfathers who survived WW1 still feel the grief at the dreadful suffering and loss of life their generation went through.
I had one great Uncle, who never came home. The story goes that his brother went out into no man's land as a stretcher bearer and brought him in, but that might be apocryphal. Another uncle did come home and as a middle aged man, my first memory of him, had a bad twitch, it lessened as he got older. He also drank a lot. He had been a company runner at the Somme.
What do I need to look for, I'm en route to Coventry as I type?
It looks to me as if the returning soldier is visible from the outside but the names may be inside. I've just seen it on twitter. Stations are very emotional places I think - all those meetings and partings.
Perhaps all children should watch 'The Great War' at school, before it's too late. I was reduced to tears in an assembly a few years ago. TRhe children were anxious to know why. When I told them I was thinking of my grandfather, they were so sweet.
I went on a Western Front battlefield tour earlier this year and was rarely far from tears. My older grandsons are going with their school tonight. I hope they don't just see it as a jolly but I think you have a different outlook when you are old enough to picture the young soldiers as if they were your son.
Although , having said that, I have a very vivid memory of a school Remembrance Day assembly in about 1972. The Head read two school reports, one from a model pupil who would have gone to Oxford or Cambridge and the other a bit of a waster who left before his exams. Both died in Ww2 and both were afforded equal respect I cried then and still remember it 46 years later. Not many school assemblies have that much impact.
Coventry was severely bombarded during the second world war.
I went to Normandy with school a few times about 10 years ago. We always went to the American Cemetary = I always felt a real emotional moment standing amongst all those while crosses.
My Grandad was a sailor in the RN and then served on a Submarine in the Atlantic. His ship was hit by a torpedo but he survived and by the time he joined the submarine corps the U-Boat war was all but over.
But he would never talk about his wartime experiences.
I (metaphorically) pull my two sons very close at times like this. I just cannot imagine the pain of sending them off not knowing whether you will see them again.
Yeah know that bit, I'm a Coventry girl and mum used to tell me about the night of the bombing. I meant the thing lindenlea started as pics aren't loading so wanted to know what to look for when I get off the train.
Aha I got it.
Then there are all the names written along all the staircases.
Dan Carlin's Blueprint for Armageddon podcast describes WW1 in such vivid detail, it's both difficult to stop listening to and so horrifying, you wish you'd never started.
That is a very moving tribute.
My brother in law was born near Coventry on the night of the bombing.
When Coventry was rebuilt, it wasn't an inspiring job, sadly.
I am frequently in the WW1 battlefields with groups, and also in such places as Sachsenhausen and Auschwitz.
Students from UK schools are, in my experience, well prepared and very moved by their visits.
My own silent conversation with those who will never leave tend to be on the lines of "I am so sorry that you were sacrificed and that we have learned nothing from your sacrifice"
My paternal grandfather was in WW1; he died when I was about twenty. Years earlier, my father had gently warned me off asking my granddad about his experiences, saying that, "It still upsets him." My father, who had been conscripted for the last couple of years of WW2, told me that most of what his father had told about the trenches was 'pretty grim', things he would rather not have heard.
My father told me that he thought about joining the Merchant Navy, when he was about sixteen in the middle of WW2) but my grandfather would not let him, telling him a few home truths about war. Shorn of the profanity that he was an adept at using, my grandfather told my father, "You're not going until they come and fetch you."
@grumbleweed Thanks for posting that - it's a better picture than mine. Very moving. The word "home" is so powerful.
Makes me feel choked up ....I think it is important that younger generations are made aware of what happened. It seems like history now but it wasn’t really that long ago at all.