Saturday, 12 November 2011

We will remember them

Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday are our opportunities to pause and reflect about lives cut short by war - and in particular those who have given their lives for our country and in defence of the freedoms that we all take far too much for granted.

For the Mayor of Frodsham I think these dates are the most important in the calendar - as this is the Mayor, on behalf of all of us in Frodsham - acknowledging the debt we owe as a community to those who left Frodsham to fight for us never to return.

Let us also remember that Frodsham has always remembered its fallen and the our Branch of the Royal British Legion is amongst the oldest in the country.

I was honoured to lay a wreath on behalf of all of us at Overton Memorial on Friday.  It was wonderful to see so many people there, youngsters from Frodsham Cof E Primary School, college students, townsfolk as well as our MP Graham Evans and representatives from so many groups.

As a youngster I was fortunate enough to be involved as a chorister at Liverpool Cathedral  in the annual commemorations there.  They moved me as a 7 year old and the commemorations continue to do so more than 40 years later!    Where ever I've been on Remembrance Sunday I've always attended the local commemorations.

I was brought up with the tales of war service.  Where my relatives and my Manx compatriots served and died and the events in Liverpool in both world wars.  I've always been struck by the many acts of bravery and courage and I've pondered many times whether I could have lived up to what they did had I ever been called to serve.  Could I have driven a petrol tanker through the burning streets of Liverpool?  Would I have lived through the Liverpool Blitz and the intensive bombing of the docks? Could I have served on a convoy?  Could I have sailed to Dunkirk like so many Manxmen to rescue the troops? What would have happened to me in Crete where so many Manxmen fell?   Like many I feel pride that when the German fleet surrendered after World War I it was an Isle of Man Steam Packet vessel - the King Orry - the Admiral Beatty gave the place of honour to when leading the German ships into Scapa Flow.  But I always remember how a Great Uncle as a young man was lost after his ship was torpedoed somewhere off the Welsh Coast in a blast so great that no trace was ever found of his ship...

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning we will remember them.  We will remember them.