I have just received an email asking if I am aware of any casualties from this area who received battle honours in the First World War so that their stories can be read out at the service in Westminster Abbey on June 30.
How sad that they are only interested in people who received battle honours.
For many, who were wounded and traumatised, their bravery continued for the rest of their lives.
My dad had an uncle on my grandmother’s side called William Liddell. He had both legs shot off in First World War. When he returned home he said to my dad and his brother and sister, “You must call me Uncle No Legs, now.”
Uncle No Legs must be only one of countless numbers of soldiers whose injuries affected them (and their families) greatly for the rest of their lives, not to mention the ones who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and were shot at dawn as ‘cowards’.
Personally, I think it is wrong to single out the ones who received battle honours. They were all mostly unsung heroes.
At the service in Westminster Abbey, I hope they will read some of the wonderfully evocative poems by Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen and the war poets, which bring to life the horror, waste of life and wrecked lives, of “the war to end all wars”.
We should never forget their sacrifice, and Rupert Brooke’s poems are a good way to remind ourselves.
What would those soldiers and their sweethearts make of our world now?
The Baker’s Chest