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Henry Allingham dies, ages 113yrs old....

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Post Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:53 pm

Henry Allingham dies, ages 113yrs old....

http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/article.aspx? ... =148636287

a very sad piece of news,

I recently re-read his biogaphy "kitcheners last volunteer", a remarkable life story for certain.

the country should be very very proud of this man and his generation, we today cannot truly imagine what they saw through their eyes and endured day to day.

I feel his funeral should be marked, school children (and people from later generations) should be made aware of his -and his comrades- passing and taught of the sacrifices these men gave, in both wars.

there are now only two more British veterans of the Great War, Harry Patch (111) and Claude Choules (108).

in our lifetimes, probably in the coming 20 years, we'll also wave goodbye to those veterans of 39-45 too, we have a responsibility to ensure all is not forgotten, it's about time our schools taught proper, rellevent history and our gov't did more for them.

god bless you Henry,

re-united at last.
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Post Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:29 pm

Nicely put Hugh.

I had relatives in WW1, a couple signed up between 14 -15 yrs old to join their brothers.
My grandfather god rest his soul was on D4, day four of the Normandy landings.

Our government doesn't do enough for those that never made if back from our conflicts and those that have.

It's about time we did more for those on the streets troubled by what they have been through.

You can't program a man to be a killing machine and expect just to drop them back into society.

Henry I for one appreciate what you and your band of brothers did for us.

Rest in peace.
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Post Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:53 pm

Nicely done Hugh.

There is a strong movement to give the last survivor a state funeral.

That's highly likely to be Harry Patch though, as Claude Choules is now an Australian, and anyway will, in all probability, be buried and commemorated there.
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Post Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:08 pm

I've always wanted to go to the WW1 cemetaries and memorials, would be another trip again for the WW11 stuff. My step son is off to france in october with his school, Flanders, Ypres etc. I've offered to go with them and pay my own way as a helper but, I can't help feeling it's more of a personal journey when visiting somewhere like that and am secretly hoping they don't take me up on the offer now as i've an old group of pals, i don't see them now since i stopped racing but, it'd be nice to stick to what we said and all go out there.

My Great Grandfather survived WW1, not certain what he did mind, he was posted straight to India after the war ended. i recall that my g'grandmother gave all his clothes to the poor house because they'd heard nothing in 4 months at one point and assumed the worst had happened.

Grandfather was gound crew for the hurricanes and later the lancasters, responsible for re-loading machine guns / turrett guns. he was colour blind and therefore not allowed to fly, we didn't speak much about it (wish i'd tried harder!) but i knew he felt guilty he wasn't with many friends who never came back, the only time i saw him cry was when he watched dambusters and that scene in "memphis belle" when the bomber gets chopped in half and the airmen are heard over the radios, even after 50yrs it was still a raw memory. for those on the front line, i can't even imagine what they must've seen and done. I also remember my gt grandmother telling us how she watched the bomber fly over about a mile from where they lived, counting them out and waiting as long as it took before counting them back again, must've been awful.

with regards remembering them etc. when i was a kid, rememberence sunday was a big deal, as was armastice day, 11am on the 11th of nov, we all stopped what we were doing to 2 mins silence, I still do now, even if on a motorway, it always saddens me to see people going about their lives, owing so much to the people who gave them their liberties, and not even spending 2 minutes to say thanks or pay respects. I always ensure my kids come with me to the service at the local memorial, or any memorial if we're away somewhere, we make a point of finding one. they always wear their poppies with pride and my little girl places her poppy on the piece of turf with the wreaths below it each year without fail, i've never had to ask her to do it, she just does.
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Post Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:23 pm

Definitely a sad day and a great loss to the country, and the saddest part is there are not many people who see it that way.."its just another old bloke gone" Ive been to Arnhem and the fields of white crosses in the cemeteries are phenomenal and they only scratch the surface of those who died.

My Great Grandfather was in WW1 and like most lied about his age, walked the 40ish miles to the nearest recruiters and was off aged 14. He was shot on one of the battle fields and left to die, and only found when the padre's walked round to place Bible's in their hands. Like most he also carried a small bible in his breast pocket and that took the force out of the gunshot that injured him. He made a full recovery and sent home. Now nicknamed "Lucky Willie"

Carpenter by trade, he was also the village undertaker and did plenty of charitable work on the church. Some years later he was working on the roof and crashed through with the fall killing him. My grand father also served and has told me many stories of his time spent in N Africa and round Italy.

Then there is me, who has been through 2 subsequent war phases where technology replaced sheer manpower.............however technology can only go so far as most are finding in Afghanistan
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Post Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:26 pm

Hugh Potter wrote:I've always wanted to go to the WW1 cemetaries and memorials

So why haven't you done it Hugh? It's only a three hour ride, plus a ferry crossing, from here to Ypres, and you're even closer than that.

I usually go four or five times per year, most recently a weekend to Mons a fortnight ago. Photos of the square attached. You might recognise the feller in the funny shorts in the night shot. :D Sorry they're not very good photos, they were taken on my phone because I forgot to take my camera.

If you do decide to go, let me know, and I'll give you some suggestions on things to see, places to stay and, most importantly, establishments in which to eat and drink.
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Post Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:23 pm

I appreciate the offer John, thank you.

why've i not been? dunno, only got a passport about 5yrs ago and i've never used it yet, IOW and don't need it and Jersey immigration don't stamp it!
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Post Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:13 am

it's about time our schools taught proper, rellevent history and our gov't did more for them.
:yes1:

Henry was a fantastic reminder of the debt of gratitude we owe, and shouldnt be forgotten.

Like you hugh I have the war cemeteries on my to do list, will get there soon.

John
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Post Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:33 pm

maybe we should try and organise a trip out then?
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Post Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:09 pm

yep im in :D
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Post Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:20 pm

Hugh Potter wrote:maybe we should try and organise a trip out then?

Good idea. I'd be up for that, but would need it to be next year.

I'm already booked for a weekend in Verdun in August, family holiday in September, and Ypres in November (unfortunately not for Armistice Day this year though). :(
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Post Tue Jul 21, 2009 2:40 pm

looks like i'd better dust off my passport then!
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Post Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:48 pm

Hugh I m with you 100%. Nobody could thanks these brave men and women enough. I have been a couple of times with John now, ( I'm the good looking guy in the shorts!) and will be going in November also. I also plan to go next year to Fromelle when the latest war grave is dedicated for the Australians.

It is a sombering experience, especially the Mennen Gate ceremony each evening.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x29TBKOu0ow


Peter
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Post Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:23 pm

Harry Patch has now passed too. We will not see their likes again.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8168691.stm
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Post Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:46 pm

RIP, the living legacy of WW1 is almost gone
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Post Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:53 am

very sad indeed, they're almost all together agin now, they would've had a ball last night i bet.


for those with sky and the discovery package, on the military channel (531?) there's a program / documentary called "The last voices of World War 1", it is on between 3pm and 6pm, very moving documentary in mostly the words of those who were there, they're all very old in the filming, well in the 90's or even 100's, they're a pleasure to listen too, it's truly a sad time now that they're no longer here to speak to us and I for one, am so greatful they took the time to share their experiences with the Imperial War Museum and, ultimately us, who could never imagine the horrors.

today is the second half of the 6 part series (3 yesterday, 3 today),

ps, have a tissue ready, can be incredibly moving at times. and if you can't watch it. record it or sky+ it.


Peter, sorry i didn't reply, I agree, just watching it on the tv is a moving experience, I imagine it would be almost overwhelming to be there.
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Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:39 pm

I consider myself lucky that i was able to go to the outside service for Henry Allingham today, I needed to go to Brighton anyway but this was first on the list to do. unfortunately i missed the first 20 mins of the service due to lack of parking, had to park at a pals place and he was kind enough to run me into town so i could walk there. a very big turnout lined the routes and probably a thousand or more watched the service on the big screen in the grounds. It was an odd occasion really, most people just milling about while the service took place, lots of service and ex service men & women there, as would be expected but, to my pleasant surprise, lots of younger people too. other than the playing of the last post, it didn't seem a sombre occasion to be honest, probably as Henry would have had it!

I felt a little dis-respectful taking photo's but, i'd paid my respects and most had a camera of some kind, including the old boys, so i felt easier taking a few snaps then, i took the camera mainly for the fly past..
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Post Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:59 pm

I have every respect for Henry, he wasnt given a choice, but fortunately he survived, many didnt. We still send our young lads to die, when will we stop fighting?


RIP Henry

Peter

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