Remembrance Sunday Then and Now

Posted on November 9th, 2014


Today has been a really busy day, I spent the day, making 100 lamb burgers and thought my food processor was going to expire all in aid of our annual bonfire party. In between we had fireworks to set up, a bonfire to finish building, tables and chairs to put out, a gazebo that kept collapsing and the good British weather that kept erupting into torrential downpours followed by clear blue sky again. This balanced between our regular timetable of the morning tractor ride to feed the animals and the afternoon train ride for the guests. Yet still I remembered it was Remembrance Sunday and Guy and Jed needed to be at Parade half an hour away from Coombe Mill. 


Remembrance Sunday Parade 2014


Seeking out clean uniforms and scrubbing up school shoes that had clearly been across the farm I pardoned myself from the feed run drove them in. The sun shone and I stayed for the brief service by the Memorial and watched them march down to church before driving home and swapping with Nick to collect them again. It wasn’t easy, the boys weren’t keen on attending and it would have been so much more convenient to just let it go this year with all we had on at Coombe Mill. However Nick and I both agreed they should go as their brother’s before had always done. They joined the scouting movement to be a part of the camps, the games and all the fun and in return we believe they should give their time on St Georges Day and Remembrance Sunday to support the leaders and the movement.

It would appear I am in a minority with this view. Out of a full troop of 20 odd 10 – 14 year olds, most of whom live walking distance, only four plus my boys appeared for Parade. Of course some will be sick and some away but that many?    



There has been so much in the media this year about remembrance and world wars. Watching television the significance of the day is as big as ever and the ceramic poppy field at Tower Bridge quite spectacular , yet to my children’s generation I wonder if there is a disconnect between what they see and their own lives? If it wasn’t for parade I wouldn’t have had the 2 minutes silence with my boys and I dare say my older children at home were busy bonfire building through it. When I was young the country came to a stand still and cars would pull over on the roads. I always stood in the lounge with my parents watching the TV and my Mum would weep at coverage from the BBC live from the Cenotaph in London and listen all morning on the radio (or wireless as it was then).

Have times moved on? Is Remembrance Sunday losing its sense of reality to a generation where many are untouched by war or are we just absorbing this sobering day in a different and more personal way now that doesn’t involve attending community gatherings or abiding by a given two minute silence?  

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