For no real reason I’ve managed to neglect the blog for a week. It’s been a quite week since I saw Testament last Saturday. A Siege performance in Leeds later this afternoon is my first gig in little over a week – with only one on Wednesday in Chester now that Vader in Birmingham has been quietly canned. Oh, and the small matter of a new Metallica album on Friday.
November 11th marks Armistice Day where we pause for reflection to remember the fallen resulting from arm conflicts since 1914. The nearest Sunday to the 11th is Remembrance Sunday which falls today, so at 11pm I’ll be there to pay my respects.
I’ve lost no close relatives to conflicts, but I have links to the armed forces in the family. My father served in the Royal Navy in the late 60’s. He didn’t see any combat, but managed to traverse the world many times – something I’m inanely jealous of. At one point as a kid growing up I had my sights set on joining the navy just for the travel options!
My father in law served proudly in the Royal Engineers and spent a lot of time in Germany at a similar time to my dad being in the navy. Perhaps the only time I saw a glint of jealousy in his eyes was when my wife told him we were off to Berlin in 2005. At his funeral some years back veterans from the Staffordshire Regiment were resplendent with their medals on display as flag bearers at the church.
My grandad on my mum’s side didn’t serve but was a Bevin Boy, who’s work was recently recognised with an unveiling of a monument at the National Memorial Arboretum last year. The Bevin Boys consisted of over 45,000 young men who were conscripted to work in the coal mines. They were released from their duties two years after World War II ended with no recognition for their work. More than half a century later their endeavours were recognised and medals were posthumously awarded.
The only member of my family I’m aware of that died in battle was my dad’s uncle who is forever engraved on the cenotaph in Audley. Thomas Brown was killed in action on September 22nd 1917 in Flanders, France.
There aren’t many more fitting songs than this once released by Sodom in 1989 on their Agent Orange album.