The Somme remembrance 1st July

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mackem_jo2

Midfield
Hard to believe isn`t it




Scary to think some were even younger
He enlisted when he was underage, unimaginable nowadays. I wish I'd known him, he passed away when i was just a toddler. He was in the first machine gun regiment, stayed in the reserves after the war ended and re-enlisted as soon as ww2 started. He was in the British Expeditionary Force, was evacuated and spent the rest of the war on the Med in the Royal Engineers. How he did all those things considering the horrors he saw as a young man is even more astonishing, he is my hero.
 

Son of Stan

Striker
My Grandad was there. I once asked my Dad if he spoke about it or said anything to him before he went off to war at the age of 21. Apparently they never talked about it, then he died while Dad was away in the army. It's all very difficult to comprehend.
 

MarcoGoalo

Striker
99 soldiers from Sunderland died on the first day.

A further 74 from the surrounding area (penshaw, houghton le spring etc) also died on the first day.
 
I always think of them on cold nights.

Out, under the stars in old fabrics that soaked water and froze. That's before the shelling, sniping and going over the top.

I've read some good WW1 books but enjoyed Forgotten Voices the most as it was the soldiers themselves (as well as some on the home front) talking.

Should also spare a thought for the German soldiers as well. These were generally conscripts or sold a patriotic lie like out lads, who also didn't really want to be there. They died in their numbers as well in a more or less pointless conflict.
 

The Falcon

Midfield
Four family, my fathers uncles and cousins, sadly two of them still there one commemorated on the Loos memorial and another buried at Achicourt. The really sad thing for me is myself and my son are the only family members who have stood by their plaque or grave, If only.

If ever the chances arises go over and pay your respects and learn more about our fallen townsmen, visit the cemetery's and memorials there are hundreds on the Western front but especially go to the Menin Gate at 8pm any night, if you are not moved by the ceremony you are not human.
 
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RedDee

Midfield
Did the tour in 2010. Great experience in a respectful way. Unbelievable how many gravestones are marked "known only unto God" and those poor souls on the Theipval Monument have no grave are remains to bury at all. Also did Ieper which was another great experience.
My great uncle died of his wounds as he was evacuated. Twenty four years old and married for two months. We visited his grave a couple of years back , laid some flowers and remembered him. Probably the only people to do so. Families could only look at the name on a monument in those days.
 

Paddy O'Dors

Striker
My great uncle died of his wounds as he was evacuated. Twenty four years old and married for two months. We visited his grave a couple of years back , laid some flowers and remembered him. Probably the only people to do so. Families could only look at the name on a monument in those days.
We stopped off at a cemetery in Belgium to lay a poppy and cross at the grave of a distant relative who was in the DLI. Shot by a sniper while he was digging trenches. Drafted in for his mining prowess. He was quite old and left a missus and a few kids.
 
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