Our thoughts turn to the remembrance services which take place the length and breadth of the country. Many of them take place at the war memorials which are found in most towns and villages and there's bound to be one within travelling distance, wherever you be. Those memorials recall the men and women who died in the service of their country and it is entirely proper that we bring their names to notice. It is difficult to believe that the Great War is approaching its 100th anniversary and I'm sure that it will be a focal point for the efforts of those who seek to perpetuate the memory of the hundreds of thousands who died in the service of their country.
Many, many more returned to their families suffering from varying degrees of wounds, both physical and mental. For me, they are the forgotten army. The Royal British Legion resulted in 1921 from the amalgamation of various charities that had been formed to look after these soldiers and their families and the RBL is still going strong today. You don't have to buy a poppy, you don't have to attend a service but do try and support them in some way at some stage - the RBL is not just about 11th November. Me ? I shall be at Flitwick war memorial this year, remembering in particular Joe Line, a private of the Bedfordshire Regiment who found the horror of war in 1914 so bad that he bayonetted himself within 3 weeks of getting to western front and died from his wounds about 2 weeks later. So sad.
One of the Bedfordshire Yeomanry who didn't return was Private Joseph Octavius Carter. He died of wounds in April 1918 and I'm pleased to be able to say that his memory is preserved by his family. I was contacted by Bob Kay, who has put in a lot of time and effort into finding out about Joseph's life and military service. Well done and thanks, Bob. If only we could produce something similar for all of that lost generation - a sort of national memorial. Do look at Bob's effort, which appears here: