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11 November 2010 -Armistice Day

Posted by DMC on 11 November 2010 in Diary |

This was the day in 1918 that saw the end of the first Great World War -the Armistice was signed at 11 o’clock of the 11th Day of the 11th month. For this reason, every year, on 11 November, services are held throughout the country to commemorate the dead (for both Great World Wars and indeed casualties from any war) and the whole country comes to a standstill for two minutes at 11 o’clock –  Lest We Forget.

Appropriately the television screened My Son Jack. which we watched with the good Dr It is the poignant story of Rudyard Kipling who, appears in the film as we can  a British Empire fanatic who sits on the government’s propaganda committee trying to put spin on the unbelievably heavy casualties suffered by the Allied troops in the early stages of the war. For example, 11,000 soldiers and 457 officers died in the first day of one of the battles – which, I cannot remember. Knowing all, in the film,  Kipling is shown as being Determined that his much loved son, Jack, should go and do his bit knowing full well that there was a significant possibility he would not return. Despite having been rejected by the army and navy, due to his poor eyesight, his father used his influence to get him into the Irish Guards. The inevitable occurred and the son died but, although totally devastated by his loss,  Kipling was unrepentant. He was immensely proud of his son, he had done his duty.

No doubt if we lost 11,000 troops in one day the Germans suffered similar casualties. A whole generation of young men wiped out, for what? I’m not going to get into the morality of war, as I believe that there. are undoubtedly situations where one has no choice but to take up arms against maniacal  tyrants.

The film was shown last night and Michael left Australia today and will be back just after Christmas. I hope he will slow down within the foreseeable future as he is no chicken and I should hate anything to happen to him. He certainly works very hard at present dashing around the world doing these legal medico reports but there must come a time when he can think about putting his feet up. Maybe next year when he becomes a Swedish citizen.g

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