Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lest We Forget

"Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet.
Lest we forget—lest we forget! "

Rudyard Kipling.

A photograph of the dedication of the Margate war memorial on 5th November 1922 sent in by Tony.


Anonymous said...

A good turnout at Margate this morning. Calls by some in the last week as to whether the Memorial Services in their current format are relevant anymore in the glorification of war, I don't know about that. No suggestions though on what would replace it. At least some younger people attended who were nothing to do with Scouts etc, just regular youngsters. My only fear now is we'll end up in a state of WW3 in the next couple of years when problems in Afganistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, N&S Korea gel into one major conflict.

DrMoores said...

Everyone missed the "Really big" news story of the week. That involved a Chinese diesel-powered submarine surfacing in the middle of a US battle group and withing torpedo range of the aircraft carrier it was protecting. "An accident" said the Chinese Navy!!

If the Chinese now have the technology to penetrate this most powerful of deterrents then the US can no longer lay claim to the Pacific and the South China Sea as its own lake and Taiwan can no longer be defended.

Note the Chinese are busily building blue water Naval bases in Pakistan, Iran and who knows... possibly Ramsgate next!!

Anonymous said...

Indeed it was a decent turnout in Margate this morning.
I'm not sure it was quite as many as several years ago but still OK.
I attended in British Legion "uniform" as I usually do, amazingly it still fits which is more than my Army uniform would, not even worth trying.
The Silence was unfortunately ruined by a child screaming, its parents eventually took it away but nowhere near quickly enough.

I have thought myself whether this Service glorifies war and came to the conclusion it does not. Its an immensely sad service and not one I enjoy attending.

Anyway its one thing which is well organised in Thanet, next time maybe TDC could clean up the area in front of the memorial to remove the dog poop before everyone arrives.

Anonymous said...

I heard the child screaming, it was the rocket at 11:00 that set her off! Not so many people there perhaps because inevitably WW2 vets and National Service personnel are now meeting the RSM in the sky, God help them! I hope the ol' trooper who collapsed near us is well.

Anonymous said...


Given the private email I sent, re Newport and use of the internet to trawl information, you should consider the range of explanations.

(a) That they have the ability to penetrate defences

(b) That we lack the ability to detect them .... (?)

I think it important at Remembrance to also remember people like Cobden Turner, Hans Ferdinand Meyer and Jack Nissen(thal) and Pujol ("Garbo") who was first handled by MI5 agent Cyril Mills (of the Bertram Mills Circus dynasty) Masters of technology and disinformation. They also served.

Jack Nissen (he has written a book) was a Jewish immigrant child who entered UK in the 20s to escape thye Polish pogroms.

His father, tearful at the generosity of the East End, told Jack that this was the country he must serve when war came.

The London Education Authorities in the 30s invested in an early technology education programme (abandoned later due to cost) such that by the age of 15 young Jack was a rare expert on radar and working weekends at Bawdsey with the researchers like Watson Watt.

On the outbreak of hostilities Jack enlisted in the RAF. As a Flight sergeant he became the radar expert sent on the ill fated Dieppe raid to acquire nazi radar secrets necessary for our D Day radar deception plans.

The Canadians who went on the Dieepe raid assigned two marksmen to kill Jack if there was a danger of his being taken prisoner. Such was his expertise.

The firefight was so intense that the party could not get in to a radar set up. Jack, under fire, decided to cut the german communications lines.

This forced their radar on to radio communication which he knew was eavesdropped by RAF in UK.

He then stayed in the area under fire carefully recording the radar detector movements and times. Later he would correlate this to the signals picked up by RAF and thus deduce the working technology and provide the knowledge necessary for the D day deceptions.

Getting out of the hell that was Dieppe he found himself in the sea and hoping for an RN dinghy.

He shouted out and was grateful for his Cockney accent ... back across the water a cockney sailor shouted that sarnds like one of our own .. and the cockney sailor came back and got Jack and his guards.

The pursuit of technical excellence, coupled with bottle and supported by an education system relevant to the needs of the country.

Lessons lost post war and now we have more students of Drama Studies than of electrical engineering. Now we have to use a French company to clean up our nuclear leak incident at Dounreay (Four billion pounds worth) because we lack the expertise.

Anyone for media studies, economics, sociology, drama studies, psychology with management, business studies, womens studies, Cornish studies, retail studies .....

A nation of consultants without an expert in sight. A nation like a one legged man in an arse kicking competition.

We owe it to those who went before to at least learn the lessons they paid for in blood.

Absent Friends.

Anonymous said...

I am thinking too deeply here but it just occurred to me that the screaming child was perhaps screaming for her dead father, killed in a senseless war (aren't they all?).
I know that's not the case but its a thought, perhaps we should all be screaming to bring an end to our involvement in countries which should not be any of our concern?

I noticed the Margate Charter Trustees (TDC Cllrs)in their old fashioned style (actually 1976) robes and tricorn hats,
some wore red and some purple, I don't know why the difference.
Except I also noticed several Labour Cllrs, one for Salmestone and one for Cliftonville West,and another I didn't know, standing at one side in civvies. Don't they have the robes or is it a silent protest?
No doubt someone here will enlighten me.

Ken Gregory said...

As someone who has been a Margate Charter Trustee, Mayor of Ramsgate, and a Ramsgate Charter trustee, I would say that it does not matter what you wear, but what you think!

I stayed at home for the rememberance moment, My grandfather was gassed at Ypres, My father was fatally injured in singapore (although he died in 1967). He always said, 'Don't forget, but don't let it happen again'. That I strive to do. I do not need to make a public show of my rememberance.


Ossie said...

There was a gentleman who collapsed at the event and once the Margate Ambulance Corp attended to him he was taken one assumes to Margate hospital with blue lights(and siren once clear of the event) One hopes he was OK.

There was also a photographer who was taking lots of photos with some expensive equipment anyone got any idea of whom he was?

Anonymous said...

Quote: The Silence was unfortunately ruined by a child screaming, its parents eventually took it away but nowhere near quickly enough.

A child is not something you can just take's not toy.

Least the family turned up for the the event.

That comment you left has really turned me away from this blog.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.16 - There will always be someone with a point of view you won't agree with, its ridiculous to say it puts you off a blog.
There are places a screaming child may be tolerated, unfortunately this part of the Service was not one of them.
Of course a screaming child can be taken away, the family - whom I applaud for attending nonetheless - were on the edge of the crowd at the back, as soon as they went 50 yards away peace descended but almost immediately the second maroon went up.
I am not a believer that one child in a tantrum should spoil 1000 adults silent prayers when its only for 2 minutes a year.
If that comment turned you away from this blog then perhaps we shall all benefit.

Anonymous said...

I was at the Broadstairs service with my wife. It was very well attended, by people of all ages, and very moving. I was particularly grateful for the Police stopping traffic up and down the High Street for a period either side of 11am.

The maroons at Margate and (I assume) Ramsgate went of within a second or two of each other, which added to the occasion, as did the excellent brass band.

I don't believe this day glorifies war. It's about those who gave, and continue to give. And I certainly believe we should all stop and reflect on that, and remember, whether it be in public or in private.

Cllr Ewen Cameron