Friday, August 17, 2007

The Fallen. And the Demolished

I think I am under influence of spray glue. It hangs heavily in the air.

The project proceeds. The village has progressed from boggy hollow with attendant Iron Age finds, via tithes and enclosures, railways and dams that never were, to 'Within Living Memory'.

I'm just compiling a sheet entitled 'Lest We Forget' as someone has been industrious enough to research the names on the village war memorial. All is neatly aligned; the names and details of the 9 who fell in the conflict (WAR damn it) of 1914-18 and the 1 man who lost his life in 1940. Euphemisms. All euphemisms.

I have 2 fading photographs to place, tenderly, alongside these names. Such handsome young men sent marching from the shires, caught forever by the camera's eye. Harry Oliver the shopkeepers' son and 22 years later, John Evans from Woodmoor - 20 years old when he died - 'missing in action'. Boys, both of them, really.






'Had he the choice of his end - he would have chosen - as he has done - that of giving all for his country.' Here I quote from the commanding officer's letter of consolation to the grieving Mr and Mrs Evans. How I wish I believed that: 'The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori.'



I'm going to move on now, as the world moves on - and with only a slightly moistened eye - to make sense of a jumble of information about the Lowfield Pub which has made its mark in the story of Marton by being demolished.











As I write it is rising again, phoenix-like in its old footprint and pretty soon it'll be business as usual....plus ├ža change.

14 comments:

Blossomcottage said...

Lovely Hubby is very interested in War History and spends much time with books about the subject and visiting war memorials when we go anywhere, like you I do wonder if the words written with such poetry would have really been what these very young men cut off in their prime would have said had they any idea what they were going into and how it would end.
Blossom

elizabethm said...

I loved your "How I wish I believed that" - just so right. The photos are so moving too. lovely blog as always.

Elizabethd said...

How interesting. Are you doing this just for your personal interest or for the village archives?

Pondside said...

Your project sounds more and more interesting - wish I could pop over and see it.
I have never believe the old
"Dulce et decorum est.....etc etc" . For freedom - yes. For my children - yes. In Afghanistan? NO!
Why was your village pub razed?

@themill said...

Whenever I read the war poets I think of my own boys and it breaks my heart.

bodran... said...

All those boys i see and feel it more now that jacob is 19 and 80yrs ago would have been made to fight....It's a sobering thought..xo

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Please tell me where and when...I am drooling at the very thought...I just love local history...especially when its a close as this!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

It does sound as though it is going well - one bit at a time. Hope that you are getting enjoyment out of it and that it is less stressful now . . . or is that the spray mount fumes . . .

Suffolkmum said...

Fascinating project. And clearly heart-wrenching too. Just boys, as you say.

Cait O'Connor said...

Moving photos, so handsome, so sad.
A tragic waste, will they never learn?

Wipso said...

Love the blog and would love to pop up when the display goes on. Please let us know the dates, times and place. Can well understand why I haven't seen you lately as I'm sure you have had not time for clothes shopping. Take care. A x

mutterings and meanderings said...

The project sounds fascinating. Will there be a book to go with it?

Mopsa said...

Will there be sawdust on the floor? I've heard about London pubs that used to do this (did they all?) but have never seen it for myself.

All Shook Up said...

Good luck with it all, hope it changes a few perceptions.