Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Soldier - Known to The Lord.

I don't remember appreciating the sacrifices that the young people who sign up for the armed forces make on our behalf when I was a young person myself. But I do now. So this afternoon, a few hours after arriving home from Fuerteventura, I left the lawns unmown and the 5 new Canada goslings unviewed so that I could attend the Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance which was held at Montgomery Church. I must also record that its the Brecon, Radnor and Montgomery County Branch of the Legion. The word Powys nowhere to be seen. I really like that. The bugler sounding The Last Post and The Last Reveille always raises the hairs on the back of my neck. Today I think it raised some of the burnt skin off as well. I think the difference is that I've been to a funeral of a young man who was killed in Iraq - and I know people who have children serving in the armed forces today. It brings home those things I thought happened a long way away. The Lord Lieutenant, The Hon. Mrs Shan Legge Bourke, (known to many as the Lady of Glenusk) took the salute.

The service was a touch more politically correct than I'd expected. The local Minister led a prayer 'for 'statespersons' rather than 'statesmen'. Personally, if she was going to change it, I'd have preferred to hear 'statesmen and women'. But I can see that this is not as 'correct'. We also had the word 'men' replaced by 'people'. I rather approve of this change. The line that stuck in my memory was when the 'invited minister' spoke about the Normandy Landings in his sermon - and the epitaph on the graves of unknown soldiers. 'A Soldier, known by The Lord' - simple but it spells out the sacrifice that those boys made. And they are still doing it today, in a far off country where they are unfamiliar with the climate and culture. And while I was away, Mrs D had cut most of the lawns.


I never said...

Did the service begin, "Ladies, gentlemen and Lembit Opik"?

Bonetired said...

Glyn: what you quoted was written by Kipling and was originally "a soldier of the great war known unto God". For the unidentified of WW2 it was changed to "A Soldier [Sailor/Airman] of the 1939-45 War Known Unto God."

I think that you will enjoy this written by the distinguished military historian Sir John Keegan (even if he does continually refer to England/English ;-) )