Tuesday, 23 December 2014

drawn by circumstance


[Those words within an inverted comma are verbatim from Grandad Grover: GG]

A landowner is a dead man. Dead and buried! That’s what they used to call the dead in the Great War: landowners!

Funny that. You can’t ever really be a landowner until you are dead.

‘My war started when I was 13.’ That’s what my Great Grandfather used to say, apparently. ‘We don’t want another war, the first one was hell; it was all kill, kill, kill. One-on-one. You saw a guy and shot him. Now, it’s all technology, gimmicks and politics.’ [GG]

Do you think they’re heroes?

I do not think that I am a hero. It is my job. [He corrects himself] It was my job. I volunteered. And did what I had to do.

‘None of us are.’ [GG]

‘Unless we do something over and above the call of duty.’ [GG]

‘And that line is drawn by circumstance.’ [GG]

‘I do not believe that if a man loses his life in war he has no one but himself to blame… Because he might have been conscripted. Or he might not have had a good Commander.’ [GG]

‘It’s not so simple and easy.’ [GG]

‘But if you join: you do know that you will some day have to fight - go to war - and that you may die doing that.’ [GG]

‘For all the heroes that deserve to be called heroes there are at least another five we do not know about.’ [GG]

Some of those ancient warriors joined, not out of choice, but out of necessity: to put food on the table, to have somewhere to live, escape the law, better career prospects: to get paid for something. Many were very hard up.

‘The best thing about it all was the companionship.’ [GG]

We ask only to be remembered.

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