There is an almost cruel irony in the fact that the first and also some of the last shots of the war were fired within fifty metres of each other.
|4th Dragoon Memorial,|
|Canadian Memorial at Casteau|
In the four years between those first and last shots in the small Belgian village, hundreds of thousands lives had been lost in the trenches and battlefields on the Western and Eastern fronts.
|August 22nd, 1914 November 11th 1918|
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
In Britain, a Festival of Remembrance is held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on the Saturday nearest to November 11th. It commemorates all who have lost their lives in conflicts. Part concert, part memorial service, it concludes with a parade of representatives of all the armed forces as well as the uniformed volunteer organisations. Once they are all in place in the large arena, there is a two minute silence, and thousands of poppy petals are released from the roof. It is said there is one poppy petal for each person who has died in conflicts.
|Image by Sgt G Spark, RAF|
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
|My great-uncle's grave in a small cemetery|
in the Somme area of France.
He died in March 1918, aged 20.
1897 - 1918