Sunday, 11 November 2018

Armistice ~ Sunday WW1 Remembered...


At "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" in 1918 the guns grew silent on the Western Front. The Armistice of CompiΓ¨gne was signed between the Allies and Germany and went into effect at 11am, Paris time, on the 11th November, 1918 .


©Digital Images


And There Was a Great Calm

BY THOMAS HARDY

(On the Signing of the Armistice, 11 Nov. 1918)

                                       I
There had been years of Passion—scorching, cold,
And much Despair, and Anger heaving high,
Care whitely watching, Sorrows manifold,
Among the young, among the weak and old,
And the pensive Spirit of Pity whispered, “Why?”


                                       II
Men had not paused to answer. Foes distraught
Pierced the thinned peoples in a brute-like blindness,
Philosophies that sages long had taught,
And Selflessness, were as an unknown thought,
And “Hell!” and “Shell!” were yapped at Lovingkindness.


                                       III
The feeble folk at home had grown full-used
To 'dug-outs', 'snipers', 'Huns', from the war-adept
In the mornings heard, and at evetides perused;
To day-dreamt men in millions, when they mused—
To nightmare-men in millions when they slept.


                                       IV
Waking to wish existence timeless, null,
Sirius they watched above where armies fell;
He seemed to check his flapping when, in the lull
Of night a boom came thencewise, like the dull
Plunge of a stone dropped into some deep well.


                                       V
So, when old hopes that earth was bettering slowly
Were dead and damned, there sounded 'War is done!'
One morrow. Said the bereft, and meek, and lowly,
'Will men some day be given to grace? yea, wholly,
And in good sooth, as our dreams used to run?'


                                       VI
Breathless they paused. Out there men raised their glance
To where had stood those poplars lank and lopped,
As they had raised it through the four years’ dance
Of Death in the now familiar flats of France;
And murmured, 'Strange, this! How? All firing stopped?'


                                       VII
Aye; all was hushed. The about-to-fire fired not,
The aimed-at moved away in trance-lipped song.
One checkless regiment slung a clinching shot
And turned. The Spirit of Irony smirked out, 'What?
Spoil peradventures woven of Rage and Wrong?'


                                       VIII
Thenceforth no flying fires inflamed the gray,
No hurtlings shook the dewdrop from the thorn,
No moan perplexed the mute bird on the spray;
Worn horses mused: 'We are not whipped to-day;'
No weft-winged engines blurred the moon’s thin horn.


                                       IX
Calm fell. From Heaven distilled a clemency;
There was peace on earth, and silence in the sky;
Some could, some could not, shake off misery:
The Sinister Spirit sneered: 'It had to be!'

And again the Spirit of Pity whispered, 'Why?'






Wigan Parish Church 2018
©J Barton

It's been a real privilege to bring this WW1 Remembered feature to Jaffareadstoo. 

Huge thanks to all those who have taken the time to read and especially to those who have contributed to this feature.

Gill Paul, Georgia Hill, Juliet Greenwood, Glen Craney, Ros Rendle, Susan Lannigan, Linda Gillard,Terri Nixon, John R McKay, Michael Wills, Jane Cable, Claire Dyer, Karen Maitland, Elisabeth Gifford, David Ebsworth, Kirsty Ferry, Rachel Sargent and John Barton.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the WW1 war poets whose eloquence brought tears to my eyes and whose words, with both poignant simplicity and graphic imagery, conjure the war in so many different ways.

Huge thanks to the Imperial War Museum for their magnificent WW1 archive and valuable shareable resources.

And remember, in the quiet corners of Commonwealth War Graves, there are those soldiers who lie, often forgotten, in our villages, towns and city cemeteries. We owe these quiet sentinels of our peace a huge debt, so do, please visit them and take a quiet moment to remember their extraordinary sacrifice.


Wigan Parish Church 2018
©Digital Images

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In our family we remember 

Pte. John Hopkins

Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Died 24th January 1919


©Digital Images

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Pte. Sam Whalley

Royal Fusiliers/17th Lancers



©Digital Images


©Digital Images
Sam and his five brothers all survived the war

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Driver Frederick Arkwright

T/14695668


Royal Army Service Corps


©J Barton

Died 1 February 1945
Buried Schoonselhof Cemetery 
Antwerp, Belgium

Wigan Cenotaph
©Digital Images
Wigan Cenotaph
©Digital Images

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A generation of young men and women, gone too soon in a war that robbed them of their future so that we could have ours


At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them

πŸ’”



©Digital Images

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2 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the last 4 years, Josie. Your gift to readers.

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    Replies
    1. Thank so much, Susan for following and sticking with me ! Much appreciated, I'm so glad that you've enjoyed reading my blog posts.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffa and I appreciate your interest.