Today I remembered. Along with the majority of the rest of the nation. I remembered on Sunday too. We were travelling, so we stopped in a layby on the A1 and had our own Silence while the cars whizzed by. I felt cross that they hadn’t stopped too.
As we travelled through a couple of town centres on our journey I was glad to see evidence of parades finishing and people who had been ‘on parade’ or just watching.
I was pleased to get a text from my oldest son to say he was going to his local parade. Youngest son was at training and they too held a silence. That brought back memories of being at Rugby matches and training with our boys and a silence being held.
I remembered those who fought in wars and didn’t come home again, I don’t know of anyone in my own family history who fought and didn’t come back.
I remembered all those members of my family and my husband’s family who have served their country. The Army, the Navy and the Air Force, we have had family members in all branches. We have had family members who were ARP’s and firewatchers too. I remembered them all.
I remembered those Sundays as a child when my father would instill in me the respect he felt the day deserved as we sat and watched on TV before we were old enough to parade with Brownies, Guides, Cubs and Scouts as we grew up.
I remembered too a long time mentor in my Scouting career. He was 94. He too served in WWII. He was injured and brought back to the UK. His injuries didn’t stop him. He encouraged me, he comforted me, he supported me. In turn, I tried my best for him. I managed to get him tickets for a Veterans event in London via Scouting, he was thrilled.
I remember going to Remembrance Day parade the with the Scouts over 15 years. He was always there. Sitting with us. Showing the youngsters why it was important. He was a part of Remembrance Day to me. So it was almost fitting, though very sad, when I heard that Nick had passed away. On Remembrance Day.
Today, as the RNLI branch in our town fired the Maroon to signal the start and end of the two minute silence, our office fell silent. I remembered all of those people again. I remembered going to see the Poppies at the Tower of London and being awed by them.
It is fitting that tonight, I learned of the details of my friend Nick’s funeral. He will be remembered. I remember the year of the dodgy cornet player and the wobbly Last Post before another player took over. I remember too the year the retained Fire crew were called out – the sound of the pagers going off one by one, the sound of the rustle of their water proofs and then their boots as they ran up the High Street to their station.
I remember the pride I felt at being on Parade, the fact that the weather was always dry even if it was bone chillingly cold at times, the fact I could never get through it without crying! Tissues were a must!
I remember all these things, I also remember WILLIAM EWART BOULTER VC (1892-1955)
“W. E. Boulter, No. 14603, Sergeant, 6th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment,” won the VC “for most conspicuous bravery though severely wounded in the shoulder” at Trones Wood, France on 14/7/1916, during the first Battle of the Somme. He received the medal at an investiture held by the King at Buckingham Palace on 17/3/1917.
Billy as he was known was born in Wigston on 14/10/1892, the second child in a family of six.
Billy lived in the house in which I grew up. I discovered this about him when I was showing my son where I had lived and discovered a plaque on the wall of my old home.
Remembrance. It means a lot to a lot of people. Including me.