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Never Forget. (Photoblog)

At 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month of 2011. The nation will pause.

At 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month in 2011 - 11-11-11-11 - We will be remembering those who were willing to lay down their lives for their country. We will fall silent and take two minutes to reflect on the sacrifice of our brave Service men and women from conflicts past and present. Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday reflect on the events of the First World War and the continuing impact of conflict around the world. Here are 11 photos I’ve taken with my composed poem in remembrance, to maintain the memory of those who gave so much.

The poppy is the symbol of Remembrance and of the Poppy Appeal. The history of the poppy started with the first official Legion Poppy Day which was held in Britain on 11 November 1921 inspired by the poem In Flanders' Fields written by John McCrae. Since then the Poppy Appeal has been a key annual event in the nation's calendar and Poppy Collectors appear in late October so that donations can be made and poppies can be worn for Remembrance.

The National Memorial Arboretum is set within the National Forest of Staffordshire and comprises 150 acres of trees and many emotive memorials devoted to the concept of Remembrance. It was established at the beginning of the millennium and was then officially opened on 16 May 2001. It also affords a panoramic view of other memorials to the armed forces, police, fire service and many other civilian organisations who have also lost their lives. The Arboretum is a unique haven of peace, contemplation and hope for the future. Our visit there last year offered us an opportunity to pay tribute to those who died in the service of Britain.

The names of over 15,530 servicemen and women are engraved on the Portland stone panelled walls. ‘Every name, every life, every sacrifice, deserves to be remembered. Forever.’

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the First World War ended. This memorial is scribed ‘Through this space a shaft of sunlight falls at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.’ The design of this memorial allows the sun to shine on the central wreath sculpture on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

The National Memorial Arboretum honours the fallen, recognises sacrifices and gives pride to the country. In the heart of the Arboretum lies the Armed Forces Memorial which is a tribute to the service personnel who have lost their lives in conflict or as a result of terrorism since the end of the Second World War.

Many people associate Remembrance Day with heroes of D-Day or the Battle of Britain's Spitfire pilots. Some people think of the deeds of the SAS during the Falklands conflict or, of course, Flanders Fields from World War I, carpeted in poppies growing where so many men lost their lives. But in the last few years it's also been about the nation showing its support for the soldiers returning injured and traumatised from current conflicts.

The Royal Air Forces Association symbol. The memorial plaque nearby had this written on it.. ‘In friendship and in service one to another we are pledged to keep alive the memory of those of all nations who died in the Royal Air Force and in the Air Forces of the Commonwealth. In their name we give ourselves to this noble cause. Proudly and thankfully. We will remember them’

The Commandos formed by the Army in June 1940 as a well-armed but non-regimental raider force employing unconventional and irregular tactics to assault, disrupt and reconnoitre the enemy. This memorial consists of a reproduction of part of the Association badge – the wreath in copper and the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife in stainless steel. The impressive piece was created at Anwick Forge in Lincolnshire.

This is a section of the Burma railway situated in the Far East exhibition. The memorial is constructed from 30 metres of the original rails and sleepers used on the Burma railway which were brought to the Arboretum from Thailand in HMS Northumberland in 2002. The memorial is a permanent tribute to those who were forced to construct the infamous ‘Railway of Death’ and the benches and trees around the railway track have relevant dedications. The memorial was dedicated on 15 August 2002.

During the First World War some 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers were shot for desertion or cowardice; the real usual cause for their offences was post-traumatic syndrome and combat stress reaction. Most of them were sentenced after a short trial at which no real opportunity for defence was allowed. ‘Shot at Dawn’ is a memorial modelled on the likeness of a young British soldier who was blindfolded and tied to a stake to be shot by a firing squad at dawn. Private Herbert Burden, of the 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers lied about his age to enlist in the armed forces and was shot for desertion at Ypres in 1915 aged 17. The memorial is surrounded by a semi-circle of stakes on which are listed the names of every soldier executed in this fashion.

The Royal British Legion which has its 90th Anniversary this year sold 45 million poppies in Britain last year. The Poppy became a symbol of blood spilt in war and a sign of new life amid death. It was adopted as the emblem of Remembrance Day after the First World War poem, ‘In Flanders Fields’ reputedly written by Lt Col John McCrae who saw his friend Alexis Helmer aged 22 killed on May 3rd 1915. Some of the bloodiest fighting of World War One took place in the Flanders and Picardy regions of Belgium and Northern France. The poppy was the only thing which grew in the aftermath of the complete devastation. McCrae, a doctor serving there with the Canadian Armed Forces, deeply inspired and moved by what he saw, wrote the poignant poem. ‘In Flanders Fields.’
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At 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month. The nation will pause. And we will remember.

15 people like this.

Reply to comment


Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 19:21
Comment

 

In Flanders' Fields
John McCrae, 1915

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.

 

 

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Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 19:36
Comment

Hello Alison

What a cracking idea.  Very well put together and illustrated. We will remember.

XXX

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Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 19:41
Comment

Lovely thought Ali, great blog, lovely photos.

Thank you

God Bless them all.........

Viv

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Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 19:44
Comment

Lovely sentiment Alison. Well done.

Jim

'Bokeh' Competition entry:- http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/competition/entry/697372

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Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 19:44
Comment

 Thanks for your lovely comment Steve.

'Fallen Heroes' poem (which is published in The Poets of The Year 2011 Hardback book)composed by myself can be seen in larger writing in my gallery. Please link here...  Fallen Heroes http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/gallery/77182/370362

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Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 20:06
Comment

A very poignant blog Alison, very well researched, illustrated with superb photography well done also with the poem that you composed. and the way that you presented it

Well done, ...Thank you for sharing with us

Colin

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Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 20:08
Comment

A fitting memorial and tribute to the fallen.

Great images and narrative.

Ray

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Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 20:45
Comment

Hi Alison we will never Forget Them and you have given us a brilliant photoblog to remind us. Many thanks for sharing what will be I know a day we will never forget best wishes BoB xx

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Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 20:47
Comment

A beautiful and fitting blog Alison.  Your poem is very apt and poignant; and you photographs and dialogue excellent and captivating.

A fine tribute to all those who laid down their lives so that we can enjoy the freedom we have today.

We should all remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.  True heroes every one.

Thank you for taking the time to put this together and for sharing it with us.

Best Regards

Peter

If you've time, please have a look at my Photoblogs and Gallery

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Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 21:47
Comment

Bravo.

Wear your poppies with pride.

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Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 21:58
Comment

Just beautiful. All I can say is Thank You.

 

 

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Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 22:12
Comment

Lovely Ali, thank you  for this.

gallery http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/gallery/62093 ;

Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitedove7/

still checking on you all every now and again !!!

 

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Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 22:50
Comment

Thank you for posting such a well-crafted tribute. Your pictures, narrative and poem are a fitting reminder of the sacrifice made by so many over the years in different conflicts. Well done, Al.  We WILL remember them.

Di.

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Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 23:09
Comment

 Thanks for your messages.  Here is my poem in larger writing. (posted also in my gallery Fallen Heroes http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/gallery/77182/370362

Fallen Heroes  

Sunset falls on far distant shores

Warm winds whisper between blowing breeze

Fallen heroes never to be forgotten

Never forgotten where the living breathe

Sharp contrast with the sun’s shining glorious rays

And the fierce fighting, blazing hazy days

Cotton coloured clouds clot pale blue skies

Brave heroic heavy hearts, fight for man for many to die

Pearshaped tears torrential downfall. Fallen like a weeping willow

A mother’s child.  A wife’s wet torn pained pillow

How many men? How many lost lives?

How much pain? Such searing sad strife

Red bright bloodied poppies bleed

Veins bled dry, death drained cry

White pale, clammy, chilled cold

Heroes fallen like autumn leaves gold

War. What waste

Seasons flow, clockwork, time cogs on

Remember the heroes who’ve fought and gone

 

Poem by Alison Bruce-Stone.

(Published in the Poets of the Year 2011.Hardback Book)

 

Reply to comment


Date Tue, 08/11/2011 - 23:35
Comment

What a blog And what a Poem Alison theres many strings to your bow

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Date Wed, 09/11/2011 - 06:31
Comment

Great stuff, Alison. Very poignant. We remember.

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Date Wed, 09/11/2011 - 09:37
Comment

Alison, thank you. This is such a wonderful tribute to all our men and women who fought and gave their lives for us in the 1st and 2nd world wars.

We must always remember them as if it wasn't for them, none of us would be living the lives we do today.

A beautiful poem, and with the photos and narrative this has got to be one of my most favourite blogs. Thank you for compiling this, Pam x

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Date Wed, 09/11/2011 - 10:15
Comment

What a beautiful blog, poem and very moving tribute. Well done Alison. 

Hope to be in Whitehall on Sunday.

Dave.

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Date Wed, 09/11/2011 - 12:28
Comment

Very touching.

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Date Wed, 09/11/2011 - 17:53
Comment

Alison. This is far and away the best blog ever to appear in here. Your effort and time spent do you much credit. I'm rather proud of you. I hope that we may meet sometime, possibly in the lakes in the May meet. Jan.xx.

http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/blog/1241/370644

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Date Wed, 09/11/2011 - 18:29
Comment

 Beautiful Alison.       " We will remember them. "

Christine  

Christine Smile

  new Blog       http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/blog/1424

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Date Thu, 10/11/2011 - 10:04
Comment

Very moving, beautifully photographed, heart-touching poetry.

We must remember too that military personnel returning from war need understanding and care, not only for the  for the physical wounds they have suffered, but also the mental stresses that last and last. Servicemen have been the "Tommy Atkins" that Rudyard Kipling described in his famous poem (here) for too long.

Best Regards,

Steve

My Gallery:

My Blogs

 Latest Comp.

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Date Thu, 10/11/2011 - 13:49
Comment

Beautiful Ali, what a wonderfully moving blog. Thank you so much for compiling.

Yes, we will remember and continue to wear our poppies with pride but this blog really brings home just how important and poignant Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day is.

God Bless them all, Ali xx

 

Give a stranger one of your smiles, it might be the only sunshine he see's all day.

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Date Fri, 11/11/2011 - 08:24
Comment

 'We will remember' at 11am today the 11th November 2011. (11.11.11.11.)

 

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Date Fri, 11/11/2011 - 08:43
Comment

Very moving, both the poem and the blog.

Thank you for sharing.

regards

Anne 

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Date Fri, 11/11/2011 - 09:07
Comment

brings tears to my eyes - so touching and yes we should never and wont forget them then and now - lovely Alison

every day is a new beginning enjoy yours...smile and the world smiles with you - cry and you cry alone :-) 

 

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Date Fri, 11/11/2011 - 14:12
Comment

A beautiful tribute Alison. Thank you very much for creating it.

 

Flickr Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32238909@N04/

 

 

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Date Fri, 11/11/2011 - 15:15
Comment

Beautiful and thoughtful piece of work, Alison.  It looks as if ceremonies in our part of the world will be held in pouring rain this year.  Thanks for putting this together.

Thanks, too, for visiting my October blog.  Yes, Ladysmith (particularly the old town) is very picturesque.

judypw

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Date Sun, 13/11/2011 - 13:06
Comment

Alison thank you for  compiling and for posting this. A reminder to us all. Thank you. 

Reply to comment


Date Tue, 06/03/2012 - 21:54
Comment

Thanks for leaving me the link for this blog. this was a very emotional experience your narration payed a moving tribute to those who sacrificed ultimately for us. your pictures were very crisp clear and helped set the mood. A fitting tribute for our heroes.

Donald.  :)

http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/gallery/759591

Have a look see what you think. http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/competition/entry/436981

Whats for you, shall never go past you.

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Date Thu, 08/11/2012 - 03:12
Comment

Time for reflection and remember what men and women did and still doing for us.  As we draw close to remembrance Sunday  we should never forget the sacrifices have been made for us.  Wonderful narrative and pictures.

Thanks for sharing

Sharon

Reply to comment


Date Thu, 08/11/2012 - 07:43
Comment

Thanks Ian (Allington) for the forum link in UK Chat to this photoblog I did a year ago and which is poignant every year to remember those who gave and give so much. The poem I personally penned and wrote is here again .....

 

Fallen Heroes  

Sunset falls on far distant shores

Warm winds whisper between blowing breeze

Fallen heroes never to be forgotten

Never forgotten where the living breathe

Sharp contrast with the sun’s shining glorious rays

And the fierce fighting, blazing hazy days

Cotton coloured clouds clot pale blue skies

Brave heroic heavy hearts, fight for man for many to die

Pearshaped tears torrential downfall. Fallen like a weeping willow

A mother’s child.  A wife’s wet torn pained pillow

How many men? How many lost lives?

How much pain? Such searing sad strife

Red bright bloodied poppies bleed

Veins bled dry, death drained cry

White pale, clammy, chilled cold

Heroes fallen like autumn leaves gold

War. What waste

Seasons flow, clockwork, time cogs on

Remember the heroes who’ve fought and gone

 

Poem by Alison Bruce-Stone.

(Published in the Poets of the Year 2011. In Hardback Book by United Press)

 

Reply to comment


Date Sun, 10/11/2013 - 09:29
Comment

Time to remember today those who gave and give so much

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