Wednesday, 4 June 2014

D. Day Dead.

To all the men and Women who Died to set us free,
May the lord bless and keep you, for you gave us Liberty,

These words gratefully commemorate,
The Courage and Love which sealed your fate,

No matter where your Bodies lie,
we continue to hear your Battle Cry,

"Give us Freedom, Give us Peace",
is the Lesson we learn from your violent release,

You gave your Lives that we may be,
Free from the yoke of Tyranny,

The World must never ever forget,
the great example that you set,

Still must all Free men strive,
to keep your memory alive,

Where 'ere oppressors seek to tread,
We must stop them with our Dead.

Thank you All from We the 'Free',
For the Lives you gave to Liberty.

Philip Reeves.

Monday, 11 November 2013

A Hero's Funeral

On Saturday 9th of November, I saw a funeral notice from the local paper which had been added to Facebook. It said that an old RAF airman who served in Bomber Command during WWII, had no family or friends to mourn his passing, and so the Add asked people to go and give him a decent send off. His name was Harold Jellicoe Percival, and I was privileged and honoured  to play a very small part in the most amazing funeral I have ever seen.

Harold's funeral began at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month. and today more than two thousand people came to pay their respects to this fallen Hero. They came from all over the country, There were representatives of all the armed forces, both serving and retired. The RAF sent a senior officer and honour guard, the local fire brigade sent a tender and crew, the police were there in force.There were young members of the cadet forces, local men women and children and flag bearers from the Royal British Legion. There were Bikers in their leathers and Hundreds of veterans like me all wearing poppies and medals. The press was well represented as were the TV News stations.

Harold was cremated with full military honours and as the curtains closed on his coffin, the whole crowd burst into applause, our salute to a fallen Hero. The Funeral ended with the sounding of the last post. I left the crematorium, with my back a little straighter, my head held a little higher and bursting with pride for my fellow countrymen and women.

In cold wet miserable weather, this crowd proved that those Hero's who served in long past conflicts are just as important and just as valued  as those serving today. People came from far and wide to ensure that Harold, did not die alone, today his family was two thousand strong. 

A particular thank you goes to staff Sergeant 'Scouse' (the only name I have for him) who pulled up in his car and gave me a lift back to mine. This Veteran, who served 22 years in the army, and who retired after being wounded in Afghanistan,  came a long way to honour a fallen comrade and to help an old sailor who finds walking difficult.  

So Farewell Harold, and thank you 'Scouse' may your journeys never end and may you be appreciated Always.

Today I spent an hour with Hero's, an hour I will treasure and remember for the rest of my life.

Stay Safe & Be Well