Remembering all those who have lost their lives during the many wars. Remembering my great grandfather Private Christopher William Chatterton who died of wounds in France during the First World War on 26th March 1915. He was in the 1st Batallion of the Gloucestershire Regiment. He is buried at Caberet-Rouge Cemetery in France and in the mid nineties we went to see where he was buried. To say it was a sobering experience is an understatement! Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery in Souchez is one of the largest in the region and contains 7,655 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, more than half of them unidentified.
His wife, my great grandmother died the year before on 19th November 1914, and so they left four young children who I believe were put into various homes and foster places.My grandmother was only one year old, having been born only the year before on 11th November 1913. To think she would have been 101 years old today!
Yesterday we ventured into London to view all the poppies which represent all the lives lost during WW1. To think there are 888,246 which represent each life lost during this war. It is devastating, all those lives lost. I wonder what they would think of the United Kingdom today?
The sheer number is staggering, and really puts it into perspective...and this is just one side!
One of those poppies represents my Great Grandfather.
On Sunday I sang with the St Ethelreda's Church Choir for both services at the church and also down at the memorial.
We sang 'In Flanders Fields'. The music was composed by Jill Knight and set to the words of the poem by Major John MaCrae,
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
You can here a recording we did on the Wednesday before here.
Also remembering my grandfather who fought in the Second World War. During his last few years, we were to witness the long term effects on his mind that the war had. I miss you so much Pop.