Well that’s it one hundred years since the end of the First World War.
This is my Grandfather Robert Surtees Knott Renwick of z Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers..gassed at 3rd Ypres and was one of the lucky ones to be invalided home. Sadly after recovery he went down the mines and the coal dust finished off the job the gas started. He died aged 58.
I was working in a school the other day and one of the teachers were a bit concerned that when she asked her class what remembrance meant four had said nothing or not much. But you know, what does it mean to a kid of 10 playing Call of Duty or other such game on a PS4. My kids know what it is about, but to be honest have no real understanding.
When I was a kid the old men in the village had been in the second and the really old men had been in the First World War. Well to a 10 year old everyone over 30 was old. These guys would occasionally tell tales of where they had been or what they had seen. Then there were others with one arm or leg. Every November 11th they would mass beside the Greenside cenotaph, but year on year there would be less of them. My dad went every year, he had been in a reserved occupation in WW2, working in the mine with my Grandad as a surface occupation rather than down on the coal face.
So I honestly believe that the vast majority of today’s kids are a long way removed from the understanding that I had. Unless they have family in the forces or are in a garrison town then it really is small wonder that they write ‘nothing’ or ‘not much’ when asked what remembrance means.
Today we took part in the pages of the sea event at St Ninian’s isle. This is a natural tombolo with the sea on both sides of the beach.
The sand was raked through a stencil.
There were a number of different ones including nurses.
They did look very effective.
The following one reminds me of shadows, I suppose the arty side of me thinks of the shadows of people long gone…
We left around two hours before the end, hundreds were done by then, and by all accounts around 800 people turned up.
Tonight I have mostly been listening to: