Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Moved To Tears

I have just finished watching the special service from the cenotaph in London marking the 90th anniversary since the guns fell silent at the end of the Great War.

The three survivors of that awful conflict were there and, thank God, the sun shone on them and the weather remained dry. Henry Allingham aged one hundred and twelve years, Harry patch who is one hundred and ten today and William Stone who is one hundred and eight. I was moved to tears at the sight of Henry Allingham, the eldest of them, insisting on laying his own wreath and struggling to do so from the confines of his wheelchair.

It was wonderful to see the public applauding these three grand old men. What memories they must have held in their minds of all their comrades who did not come back. The whole service was conducted beautifully and with great dignity. Letters were read from soldiers who had fought and died in the trenches, old songs were sung. It was deeply moving.

All over the world today services are being held in remembrance. Let us never forget. Those we called the enemy lost countless thousands as well. They had families, friends, people who loved them. War is so senseless. Nobody wins a war. It is simply that one side loses more than the other.

So I thought of all the troops from all countries, our allies from the U.S.A., Canada, Australia and all the Commonwealth countries, but I also thought of the opposing forces and all their losses.

If only war could become a thing of the past, if only we could all live in peace and harmony. I can only hope and pray that one day, maybe long into the future, that day will come.

Today, I salute all our troops, those long gone and those serving right now. I thank them for their courage and their sacrifice, their dedication to duty and to Country.

God bless them all.

If you want the old battalion,
We know where they are, we know where they are,
We know where they are,
If you want the old battalion, we know where they are,
They're hanging on the old barbed wire,
We've seen them, we've seen them,
Hanging on the old barbed wire,
We've seen them, we've seen them,
Hanging on the old barbed wire.


And when they ask us, how dangerous it was,
Oh, we'll never tell them, no, we'll never tell them:
We spent our pay in some cafe,
And fought wild women night and day,

'Twas the cushiest job we ever had.

And when they ask us,
And they're certainly going to ask us,
The reason why we didn't win the Croix de Guerre,

Oh, we'll never tell them, oh, we'll never tell them
There was a front, but damned if we knew where.

Gassed last night and gassed the night before,
Going to get gassed tonight if we never get gassed any more.
When we're gassed we're sick as we can be,
'Cos phosgene and mustard gas is much too much for me.
They're warning us, they're warning us,
One respirator for the four of us,
Thank your lucky stars that three of us can run,
So one of us can use it all alone.

Three of the songs from World War One.


  1. Thanks for your post. My son was in the Army, but thankfully never witnessed war, but he has so many friends still at war. It's senseless to me too. I pray ours ends soon and the men & women can come home to be with their families soon.

  2. God bless them all...love your Poppy on your sdiebar..I miss poppys...

  3. Jeannette, Not sure if you had a chance to read my blog, but we had a small parade honoring our vets in our home town. I was so pleased to see the men and the crowd's response to them. I could swear they stood a little taller in one moment that day! What an honor it is to meet them and they are still here to share their wealth of history with us! God Bless!

  4. It is amazing that you have 3 who have lived to such a grand age. I haven't heard if we in the US have any remaining WWI vets. I've seen many older men marching in parades though and carrying a flag. They are proud to have served their country. 'On Ya'-ma

  5. It was a lovley service Stuart and I watched it together. Love Joan

  6. very nice post today.
    yes, bless them ALL.

  7. God Bless all who serve there country Jeannette.My Stepson served 15yrs for us and was in the Gulf War.A time we shall never forget.As much as I love to laugh I am also the most sentimental person ever.It breaks my heart and brings me to tears too when I watch these services.We must remmeber them.Take care God Bless Kath xx

  8. Yes, Jeannette, I was wondering if the Germans have a similar act of remembrance. Just conscripts, and many of them so young, just like our Tommies.

  9. It was such a moving Ceremony ~ Ally x

  10. Hi Jeannette, looks like we had the same idea of inserting a song! I genuinely did not notice until now. I did not watch the service on TV but I saw the photos of the three brave old men in the paper. I thought to myself: what are they possibly thinking now after all those efforts, those deaths and those years and the world has not learnt yet to live in peace?
    All the best. Ciao. Antonella

  11. I always think 2 mins is never enough. Great post Jeanette.

  12. God bless all the soldiers who fought to keep us all safe.

  13. It certainly was a moving ceremony, Jeannette. Thanks for posting.

  14. touching ceremony indeed jeannette. take care love mort x

  15. A beautiful entry, my friend.
    So sorry it has taken me so long to get here. I've missed your entries, missed you too.

  16. Yes Jeannette ,Debbie and I watched the service together and yes it was moving those three dear old Gentlemen !!LOVE Janxxx

  17. Dearest Jeannette, Thank-you so much for sharing that story...May none of us ever forget...and may we insure each new generation is aware of what November 11th. is all about.


    Lori (Alberta)


  18. Bless their hearts. I was moved to tears just reading about them, I cannot imagine how emotional it was to watch. 112 years old, that is just mind boggling. They deserve cheers and above all respect.

  19. Very well put Jeannette, these three men truly deserve the respect of the whole nation. We observed the 2 mins silence at work and as usual I was very moved by the occasion. Last year I bought Jim a book called The Last Surviving Tommy by Harry Patch, he was an amazing man.

    Love Sandra xxxx

  20. Loved this entry and the poem! i too pray one day war will be a thing of the past. when will we ever get rid of the tyrannts in the world? ~kbear

  21. Beautiful, beautiful, entry....God bless them all, their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

    Pooh Hugs,

  22. Bejeweled120@yahoo.com12 November 2008 at 04:29

    So much history contained within the three of them...now our WWII vets are aging as fast..my own dad is 92 and was a marine in WWII...they deserve our respect for saving the world from evil....love, Sandi


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