Saturday Flowers: Lest We Forget

On Tuesday this week, at the 11th hour on the 11th Day of the 11th Month, we  once again recognised Remembrance Day and the end of World War I. This year is the 96th anniversary of peace and the end of the war to end all wars. Over the next four years there will be many commemorations to mark the tragedies of the war and the impact on all the countries which were involved.

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Tyne Cot Cemetery near Ieper, Belgium.

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Sapper J W Rooney, New Zealand Engineers, Beach Cemetery, ANZAC, Gallipoli, Turkey.

Hence this week I’m including some photos of flowers taken at various War Cemeteries in northern France, Belgium and Turkey on our recent trip.

Pheasant Wood, Fromelles, France. 5533 men were killed or injured on that day.

Pheasant Wood, Fromelles, France. 5533 men were killed or injured on that day.

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The Aussie green & gold at Polygon Wood Cemetery.

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Sgt Lewis McGee VC, Tyne Cot Cemetery.

One of the most evocative and sobering art installations I’ve ever seen (albeit virtually) has been the poppies at the Tower of London. With over 800,000 poppies representing all Commonwealth deaths, it is quite awe-inspiring. Extrapolate that to include the men who returned to their homes, shattered in body and mind, and all the families and communities who were bereaved it starts to tell the impact of such a terrible war. It also bears recognising that the other participants in the war, whether Allies or not, suffered equally terrible losses.

Angela has generously given me permission to reproduce her photo here.

Angela has generously given me permission to reproduce her photo here.

To see photos of the Tower installation in London you can see photos and read my friend Angela’s posts on A Silver Voice from Ireland.

Not quite the usual Friday Flowers post to bring sunshine to your day, but still, we owe it to all the men who served to recognise their sacrifice. Lest We Forget.

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There are over 54,000 men listed on the Menin Gate whose graves are not known.

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Sepia Saturday 202: Sandcastles, coats and spots

Sepia Saturday 202Sepia Saturday’s image for Week 202 focuses on a couple at the beach with a strange looking toy.Rach at beach The Hague

The family image that came to mind was one we took on a trip to Europe in 1977. We had taken the children to the beach for an outing as we so often did at home. Although it was around Easter and still quite chilly it did seem strange to see everyone on the beach in their boots and coats, whereas we were used to the kids being in singlets and knickers.

Louisa and Rach sandcastles The Hague

As always the girls just picked up their usual habit of building sand castles which attracted the attention of this spotty Dalmatian.

If my memory serves correctly, we were only at the beach because we had to spend additional days in the Netherlands because my husband’s passport etc etc had been stolen on an Amsterdam tram late on the Friday evening. On the Monday we had to go to the Australian embassy in The Hague to get a new passport issued, then back to Amsterdam to reissue our Amex travellers cheques. On the way into the embassy daughter #1 (in the red jumper) got her finger stuck in the hinges of the big glass door. One of those situations where no matter what strategy you employed there was pain, and yelling, involved.

Phase 2 of the process in the UK, with visas and more travellers cheques of a different brand, didn’t go nearly so smoothly. We spent so much time shuttling between the Nepalese embassy, the PNG consultate and the bank that we had a much more limited opportunity to sightsee around London. Lessons of the story: make sure one of each of you has their own passport and money (tick) and try never to have your passport stolen!