Sunday 14 November 2010: They Shall not Grow Old......
This was a day which served to remind me of the hardship suffered by the troops in the trenches of the 1st World War.
The sky was leaden and the rain fell incessantly on to the clay soil of the unsown landscaping outside the Dower House window creating a swamp of mud.
How easy for me to sit in the warmth of the house looking out and knowing that I didn't have to crawl about in it as did all those young boys who thoughtlessly joined up in 1914 probably thinking it would be a diversion from what they perceived as the hum drum lives of their youth, only to discover the war wouldn't be over by the Christmas and that they would never come back home.
I isolate WW1 only because three of my uncles served in it and it and one, my mother's older brother, the only son in the family of five, lost his life after surgery on his legs in a field hospital near Wimereux in France.
In WW2 my father was lucky enough to serve his time in the Royal Ordnance Corps on the Salisbury Plain and escaped active service, while his Lordship in the Gordon Highlanders came through unscathed from the jungles of Malaya in the communist uprising of the 50's.
I consider our family to be have been amongst the lucky ones in that with all the wars whose fallen we remember today, we have lost only one member.
Today our thoughts are with the bright young men being needlessly slaughtered at this very point in time in Afghanistan where history shows that no one wins in that inhospitable country.
Also we give thought to the horribly maimed soldiers from this war and the other recent conflicts in Korea, the Falklands, Iraq and Northern Ireland. Their war against physical disability goes on.