Friday, 25 April 2014

Lest we forget ...

It's Anzac Day today.

In Australia and New Zealand it is a national day of remembrance when we commemorate our fallen soldiers.

Last Anzac Day I wrote about my own family connection to the Anzac's here.


This year I thought I would share a letter sent by my Uncle at the front to his Mother back home.


France
6/6/17

My Dear Mother,
Just a few lines to you while I have the time, as in a few hours I will be in the thick of the fight.  Inside twelve hours I will know what real war is, I have only been playing soldiers up till now.  This may be the last letter I will ever write.  But never mind this is what I came over here for & I am going to do my best for my country that I can, even dying for it if necessary, but even if it comes to the worst Mother do not worry about me, I am alright & should we never meet again in this world, we shall in the next, that is one consolation.
Well Mother Dear I don't feel like writing much under the present circumstances but you know how I feel, it is a case of "Just before the battle Mother I am thinking most of you".
Well I must close now.  With Best Love to all at home & all other Friends, don't forget Lily.
From Your Ever Loving Son
Cliff.

This letter was written on the 6th of June, 1917 … Uncle Cliff lost his life on the 7th June, 1917.

He was 20 years old.

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning.
We will remember them.



Lest We Forget.

30 comments:

  1. I've read the letter a hundred times, and I still cry . . .

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  2. Well now I am crying. I think the older I get and the older my children get it's the ages of the soldiers that get me every time. Just heartbreaking Jo. His poor mother. Lots of love xx

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    1. I know what you mean … the older we get … the more harsh this reality seems.
      xx

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  3. What a heart breaking letter to write for him and for her to read. Being the mum of lads sending them off to a war would be the absolute worst. Your uncle was 20 my lads are 19 and 21.

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    1. Still just babies really … as he would have been to his Mum too.
      xx

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  4. My heart has snapped in two. Thank you for sharing this personal family history, your Uncle's letter is so precious. I feel a mother's pain. xoxoxo

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    1. By the time she got this letter she already knew he was gone … it must have been utterly heartbreaking to read it.
      xx

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  5. You are so lucky to have this, Jo. x

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    1. We really are … we have a collection of all the letters and postcards he sent home … which is priceless.
      xx

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  6. Thank you for sharing such a personal letter, what a precious thing to have. I had family in the Forces and it make Remembrance Sunday in the UK so much more relevant.

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    1. It really does … obviously I never knew him … but I grew up hearing him being talked about … it makes a real connection with the past.
      xx

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  7. That is such a moving post. Thanks for sharing something so personal

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    1. Anzac Day felt like just the right moment to share such a heartbreaking letter.
      xx

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  8. How sad and wonderful at the same time. I know it was a double edged sword for his mother. Losing a son so young but having a letter that let her know he was thinking of her and loved her so during such a time in his life.

    I read the letter from the copy you have posted, then saw where you had typed it out underneath. I was able to make out all of it from the original, it has been cared for well. It is a great reminder of the outcome of many of our soldiers in war and makes us remember to be thankful for their willingness to go to battle for us. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Our soldiers are so brave … I'm in awe of what they do.
      But it does break my heart to think that even a young man wants his mother at a time like this.
      xx

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  9. Your Uncle was an incredible young man, to provide consolation for his Mother in those most difficult of circumstances shows such character, you must be very proud of him and his drive to protect his country, me must always remember them and the freedom they gave us x x x

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    1. That's right … without their sacrifices it may be a very different world we would live in now.
      xx

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  10. Gosh that is so sad, my son is coming up to 22 in June and when I think that so many were younger than him and gave their lives that it's so heartbreaking. I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like for his mother, any mother to know their baby is never coming home x

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    1. It doesn't bear thinking about … I don't think I could ever cope with it.
      xx

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  11. Omg.....thank you so much for sharing that with us......our young men today don't know what a privileged life they lead ....without the threat of going off to war. Xxxxx

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    1. Exactly … and may it stay like that forever.
      xx

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  12. Oh my goodness, what a moving letter. I am so sad that he died in war as I am sad that people still lose their lives to war.

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    1. A sadness that has touched so many families all over the world … it would be lovely if we could all learn from the past.
      xx

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  13. That touched my heart! Thank you for sharing... I found you through Bron's link to your blog! It really makes you very introspective! and thoughtful about what our loved ones have sacrificed for their country and the family they leave behind and how it all affects us all.

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    1. That's very true ... thanks for stopping by.
      xx

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  14. What a very moving letter, so so sad. And an experience shared by a huge number of other mothers, whose sons lives' were so tragically cut short. xxx

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    1. It must have been an overwhelmingly tragic time … with so many families effected in the same way.
      xx

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  15. So poignant, so sad. Thanks for sharing such a precious thing.

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    1. I think it makes it more real … to read something like this all these years later.
      xx

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