Wednesday, 11 November 2015


 November 11 is the date we traditionally remember our veterans. The Red Poppies that are so commonly worn have come to mean less about the war that spawned them, or the wars that followed, or the political leanings of those who wear them, but rather they have become a show of respect for veterans.

 The truth is that things don’t change much for soldiers or veterans, including the way we think about them, or don’t think about them at all, when it isn’t November 11th.

 Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, born September 8, 1886 died September 1, 1967 was one of the leading poets of the First World War. His poetry described the horrors of the trenches, and attacked the patriotic pretensions of those he held responsible for the war.

Suicide In The Trenches

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.

When we take a little time to remember the men and women of our Armed Forces on November 11th, we should spend some of that time remembering that, for some, the battles go on long after the war has ended