Remembering Percy on Armistice Day — 9 Comments

  1. A very beautiful piece, indeed. Truly, like much of history, you can only see the bigger picture through the effects on one individual.

    Lovely piece of writing. Really.

    I don’t agree with a lot of the jingoism that goes along with Poppy Day, and I don’t wear one myself. But it doesn’t do any harm to pause for a moment and reflect on the tragedy…

    So many lives wasted… and for what? One brutal empire against another.

    btw – I’m blogging your piece on

  2. Jim,

    Many thanks for your comments and thank you for the link – I wondered why my number of visitors had doubled!

  3. Ian,

    Thank you for this very moving post. You’ve succeeded in putting a human face to the awful tragedy of war. By making the connection between the graffiti on the pew and the memorial plaque on the wall, you’ve brought alive the memory of all the ‘Percy’s’ who went to war but never returned.

    Percy’s life may have been lost in vain but at least, he’s not forgotten.

  4. Steph,

    It’s in telling the individual stories that there is a chance of reconciling the traditions in Ireland – do you remember Tom Hartley of Sinn Fein going to the Western Front with the late David Ervine from the PUP? It was the individual stories that united them.

    I have this hope of being at an occasion in eight years’ time and being able to read Francis Ledwidge’s ‘Lament for Thomas MacDonagh’ and his ‘Soliloquy’ and both of them being held in equal respect.

  5. Ian a very moving post, The 3 old soldiers left over from the Great War laying their wreaths of remembrance was also for me very moving, just 3 left, lets hope we always remember.

  6. Sorry Ian, I’m so late catching up. It’s barely remembered here. We choose instead to celebrate a defeat on the shores of Anzac cove!

  7. Thanks Again Ian, I still remind people of this moving Sermon, It still brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye, Cheers Alistair.

  8. I’m just back from a few days in Bruges and, while there, took the opportunity of a trip to some of the battlefields and cemeteries. I saw some trenches, and the Flanders Field Museum and Menin Gate at Ypres/Ieper, the Passchendaele Museum as well as Tyne Cot Cemetery. This latter brought home to me the horror of war in a way that I hadn’t grasped from names on church war memorials. It also brought to mind the “Green Fields of France” – “Do those that lie here know why did they die?….
    Did they really believe that this war would end wars?…
    For young Willie McBride it all happened again
    And again, and again, and again and again.”

    Will humankind ever learn?

  9. The little Devonshire Cemetery at Mametz is the most moving place for me. They were cut down by machine gun fire as they came out of their trench and buried back in it – Captain Duncan Lennox Martin and Lieutenant Noel Hodgson are among the dead. Lennox Martin knew what was going to happen and, if you read Hodgson’s final poem, he seemed also to know

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