Sunday, 11 November 2012

Eleventh day of the eleventh month

Of all the shocking statistics of the First World War, one of the most shameful is that hostilities didn't cease on the morning of Armistice Day.  Between the signing of the armistice at 5 am and when it came into effect at 11 am, the killing continued.  863 men, I think it was, died in those 6 hours.

As always, the congregation listened intently as the Roll of Honour was read out from our three villages for the two wars, 25 men having been lost from my own little village in the first war alone.  I say this every year, but I'm afraid I'm still going to.

I didn't let anyone down, I'm relieved to say, I played the Last Post and Reveille to the best of my ability, right speed, no fluffs, no wrong notes and I remembered to set the stopwatch so that the silence was exactly two minutes.  Several people thanked me afterwards, which was kind.  I wasn't anxious on my own account, I promise, but not to let the occasion down.

I nearly came unstuck last night, mind you.  I was cooking dinner, mind drifting over this and that, and i suddenly remembered that I'd said I'd do an arrangement for the altar, which I'd meant to do on Friday and, failing that, on Saturday first thing but it was raining then.  I hastily grabbed a basket and secateurs and went into the garden to pick greenery, then scampered down to the church after dinner and did a speedy job with foliage and poppies.

And this morning, just in case I had forgotten, Gill brought some greenery so that she could rescue me if need be.  Isn't that lovely?  Friends do look out for each other, it's so kind.  I had to do it by 8 o'clock this morning though as there was a service then too.  Frosty overnight it was, but it's a sunny day now and, I'm told, it's set to warm up this week.  I'm glad to hear it.  The Aga receives its annual service on Tuesday and we'll have to turn it off tomorrow night in readiness.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that it all went well.

Z said...

Thanks, Mago. I'm glad it's over!

Ros said...

Some thoughts on this.

Both my father-in-law and m uncle were flight sergeants in Bomber Command. The average flier's age was 22, and when tey enlisted their anticipated life expectancy was 2 weeks, yes, 14 days.

Today, my uncle is 93 and my father-in-law 89, and the last remaining member of the 'few' in Waterloo. Liverpool.

For our tomorrows, they offered their todays, and many of them gave them.

Unknown said...

Looks like you did a grand job!

Z said...

Time doesn't lessen the affect it has on us, does it? And young people are more aware than they used to be.

John - xxx

Pat said...

The arrangement looks lovely. So much nicer with a bit of greenery.

Z said...

Thank you, Pat. I like arranging greenery, can't manage artificial flowers on their own.

mig said...

The poppies are lovely and I'm glad your bugling went without a hitch.

(re your busy post comments I think this is how to put a link in a comment.

[a href="Url you want to link to"]text which will be the clickable link[/a]

Substitute < > for [ ] - I couldn't put them in or it just turned into a link and a useless one at that. No spaces except between 'a' and 'href'.)

Z said...

Thank you, Mig. I'll try it.