Sunday, 11 November 2007

Remembrance Day thoughts

I consider myself very lucky in a number of ways. One of these is the fact that I didn't lose any close relatives in the two World Wars, many others weren't so fortunate. It is I find quite difficult to relate to the war dead when it comes to 11 o'clock on the eleventh of November when the horrendous events of the wars haven't really impinged on your own life. However quietly walking alongside the Tamar about an hour earlier I couldn't but reflect on the peace and tranquillity of the scene before me and contrasted that in my mind with the carnage man has wrought on fellow man, and all for what? But running parallel with this was the realisation that the pleasure of the freedom to enjoy that walk was partly down to those who lost their lives in the conflicts and to those who suffered permanent injury.

A few, a very few, communities never erected memorials to the fallen dead. These were the 'thankful villages', places to which their sevicemen all returned. I know that Herodsfoot, a sweet little village deep in the valley of the West Looe River in the quiet countryside between Looe and Liskeard was one such example. But were there any others in Devon and Cornwall? None that I know of.

The location of Herodsfoot can come as a surprise when you stumble on it. However with some mining in the valley and once a gunpowder works nearby its present feel of nothing has ever happened here can be misleading!

I certainly don't glorify war but as a person who is fascinated by history I take plenty of interest in wars from a purely historical perspective. That's as close as I want to get.

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