Saturday, 11 November 2017


On November 11th I usually go to the Cenotaph in London to pay my respects, but this year was very different. 

As I now live on the Isle of Portland, I today went along to my local War Memorial at the top of the hill on Portland. It is a stunning location, with sweeping views across Chesil Beach and the Jurassic Coast.

The dark and threatening skies and howling wind added to the dramatic feel of the moment. And just like in London, when the whole of Whitehall falls silent at 11am, the small troop of people huddled around the huge obelix of Portland stone perfectly observed the two minute silence.

Portland's War Memorial

The amazing view from the memorial.

Just some of the names inscribed on the side of the obelix.

Two poppies to remember.

I always like to finish with a Siegfried Sassoon poem on November 11th, and as we are still acknowledging the centenary of all the major events of the First World War, here is one of his poems entitled Two Hundred Years After.

Trudging by Corbie Ridge one winter's night,
(Unless old hearsay memories tricked his sight)
Along the pallid edge of the quiet sky
He watched a nosing lorry grinding on,
And straggling files of men; when these were gone,
A double limber and six mules went by,
Hauling the rations up through ruts and mud
To trench-lines digged two hundred years ago.
Then darkness hid them with a rainy scud,
And soon he saw the village lights below.

But when he'd told his tale, an old man said
That he'd seen soldiers pass along that hill;
'Poor silent things, they were the English dead
Who came to fight in France and got their fill.'

©Siegfried Sassoon

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