Tag Archives: armistice

1899. Digital poppies

Yvette came up with a brilliant plan, although it may not have been as brilliant as one might like to think. She had come across a website that listed the fallen dead in various wars. If you clicked on a button on the page dedicated to each fallen soldier, you could leave a digital poppy.

Yvette chose the First World War. Some soldiers had a single poppy left, others had several poppies. One or two, here and there, had dozens of poppies. Most soldiers however had none. These soldiers had been forgotten. There was no one left who remembered them; no one to be grateful specifically to them for their sacrifice. Yvette knew exactly what she was going to do.

Methodically, because she was a careful and methodical person, she would make her way through the pages dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the First World War. If they had no poppy she would click on the button to show that the world still cared.

It was early August. If she hurried she could give each a poppy by the 11th of November; that was Remembrance Day, also known as Armistice Day. Oh, but there were millions of names! Yvette quickly discovered that there were too many for her to say “Thank you” to.

“This year,” thought Yvette, “I shall simply do those whose family name starts with an A. Next year I’ll do the B’s.

Remembrance Day came and went. She was nowhere near finished; not even halfway through. Not even a quarter. “I know,” thought Yvette, “I’ll get it done by Christmas!”

Christmas came and went. “I know,” thought Yvette, “I’ll get it done by New Year!” New Year came! Would you believe! Yvette had finished the As! She finished at 11 o’clock on New Year’s Eve!

Midnight came. It was the New Year. The computer program deleted all the poppies left in the past year. This was a New Year. The leaving of poppies would start from scratch.

1464. War families

Enid’s husband had died in 1910. In the traditional, old-fashioned way, Harold ran the farm and Enid ran the household that included a son. The farm was the sole source of income of course, but it was a partnership. One spouse couldn’t do without the other.

When Enid’s husband died fortunately her son, Jack, was old enough to run the farm on his own and do all the heavy work. It was a partnership as before, although Enid was inclined to help more on the farm than she had previously.

And then Jack was called to war.

Enid ran the farm as best she could, but it wasn’t good enough. She sold the farm for a song. The farm wouldn’t take care of itself while she waited for a millionaire to come along and buy. She went and lived in town, but had no experience of the work force. Her skills lay in other areas. She couldn’t find a job.

And Jack didn’t come back.

It’s not only soldiers who make sacrifices in times of war.

762. All my love

762dickpeers

A departure today! In honour of Armistice Day (Remembrance Day, Veterans Day) I’m posting a recording made in New York during World War II of my mother’s brother, Dick Peers. Air force personnel, upon finishing their training in Canada, would head straight for New York before returning to war.

Nola Luxford, a New Zealand-born actress from Hastings NZ, the same town my uncle came from, had founded the ANZAC Club in New York. Throughout the war, her club hosted over 35,000 New Zealand and Australian troops. My uncle made this recording there to send home to his parents. I hope you can understand his fairly strong New Zealand accent! The Margaret mentioned was a sister, as was my mother, Doreen.

He never returned from war.

761. Eleventh hour

762eleventh

Word came through to Clayton Ormsby. The war would end at the eleventh hour tomorrow. He was in charge. He was a Captain in the army. No one in the field of action was higher than him.

“We’ll let it lie awhile,” he thought. “Shoot a couple more of the bastards first, and then I’ll say it’s over.”

397. Poppies

397poppies

The gardening magazine gave out a free packet of seeds: Flanders Poppies. Sow poppies, it said, to commemorate the fallen soldiers of the war 100 years ago. Lest we forget, the packet said.

What a lovely idea, thought Joan. I shall do just that. In fact, all the neighbours said they would do the same. Lest we forget, they all said. Lest we forget. Trust Joan to organise something like that. She found seeds for everyone.

When poppy flowering time came, what a poppy picture the street was! All except for Joan’s garden. She’d forgotten.