Never Such Innocence

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Through collaboration with Never Such Innocence, an organisation focused on young people's education about the First World War, The Royal British Legion launched a competition to inspire schools and pupils to compose a poem, a song or other work of art to say Thank You and share a message of Remembrance and hope.  The competition is open throughout the world: http://neversuchinnocence.com/

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Why should any child say "Thank You" because someone was blown to smithereens for nothing 100 years ago? Sadness, outrage - yes, but "Thank You"?

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Why we should say thank you.

 

When you go home, tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrow, we gave our today"

 

John Maxwell Edmonds (1875 -1958)

 

 

Dedicated to: William Cocklin (1894 – 1968)

William Cocklin, my Grandfather, was sent to Gallipoli, a soldier of F Company, 10th Battalion County Of London Regiment. The Regiment gained 27 Battle Honours in the Great War. Very few returned. Had he not returned from the battlefields of World War 1, my mum, my sisters, our children and their children would not exist and know the freedom that we do today

 

 

 

 

In Flanders Fields

 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae,  May 1915

 

https://forourtomorrows.wordpress.com/

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1 hour ago, Oblomov said:

Why should any child say "Thank You" because someone was blown to smithereens for nothing 100 years ago? Sadness, outrage - yes, but "Thank You"?

Because for everyone except Germans both world wars weren't "for nothing". These were wars against German invasion. I appreciate how the Germans accept their history, but it should not be assumed that education is the same way in other countries.

 

Our granddads and grandmas were not fighting for nothing. Of course, they deserve thank you.

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When you go home, tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrow, we gave our today"

 

Rather:

 

“If any question why we died, / Tell them, because our fathers lied,”

 

Rudyard Kipling

 

The old dulce et decorum est pro patria mori lie. Often bullied into signing up (white feathers), then drafted, to die a miserable death - what for? To maintain the British Empire's top dog position - the same Empire that was at war in basically each and every year of its existence and that did not hesitate to invade others and to stamp out any opposition to its rule. The same Empire that was squabbling with France about how to carve up the Middle East while fighting the war.

 

Now school children are supposed to make nice, little, sentimental poems etc. to be submitted to the same kind of people who were responsible for the massacre in the first place. You really can't make it up.

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In a way Oblomov I am glad you are bitter and angry. I am too. What a ghastly waste it all was. And the suffering, let's not go there. But this does not exclude us from saying thank you to the victims. It's all that's left.

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18 hours ago, yourkeau said:

Because for everyone except Germans both world wars weren't "for nothing". These were wars against German invasion. I appreciate how the Germans accept their history, but it should not be assumed that education is the same way in other countries.

 

Our granddads and grandmas were not fighting for nothing. 

 

For people who were defending their property / homeland, they were fighting for something.    For the rest, most of the time, the teenagers who were actually doing battle had no clue. 

 

In my opinion, most of the countries of Europe would be better off if they did not put so much effort into remembering the 20th century wars and would instead focus on the future.    Every time i hear the Poles or the Greeks talking about reparations or Germans incensed by using terms like Wroclaw and Gdansk instead of Breslau and Danzig, it seem like the basic History instruction in the schools combined with an endless stream of crockumentaries keeps the wounds partially open in case reasons are needed to slug it out with the neighbors. 

 

Move forward. 

 

 

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A superb from-the-heart post, Keleth! Truly excellent! (By the way, I agree with you!! )

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I remember my grandfather - coughing from mustard gas in trenches in 1st world war, my other grandfather talking of desert service, my father , not talking of bombing raids.

Yes, war is violent and seems futile, but those who died have made a difference and given us a shining example of service and duty.

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The kids of ages 9-16, from the British Isles as well as Canada, are invited to write a poem or create a piece of art, might want to take a crack at less stereotypical topics for honoring those who served by taking a very different point of view than the committee might expect:  

 

Treatment of 'enemy alien's during WWI in the Britsih Isles (or Canada, as Canadians are also invited to participate). https://schoolworkhelper.net/enemy-aliens-in-wwi/ (Canada) or https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/enemy_aliens_and_internment for ideas. You can also Google images of 'enemy aliens + wwi' for some visual arts ideas. 

 

OR

 

Conscientious objectors in WWI try http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-35841107/the-conscientious-objectors-of-ww1 

 

just a thought. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Keleth said:

So I think a Thank You is not too fucking much to give them is it.

 

 

Apparently you believe that because something is done under great hardship it means that it is a worthwhile endeavour. Asking children to say "Thank You" to soldiers fighting a war signals to these children that it was a positive thing to do. It's more subtle than flag waving and goose stepping militarism but it goes into the same direction.

 

From the charities website:

 

" Our community roadshow events also aim to bring unique experiences to children in their communities, including museum tours, trips to RAF bases, Royal Navy ships and Army bases. We also provide free song writing workshops! "

 

Yeah, but that's only to say a "Thank You" to some poor sod who snuffed it while sticking up to his waist in mud, right?

 

As to all the deprivations, have you taken a look at the trustees? " Lady Lucy French (Founder and Trustee)"  Well, if she happens to be a descendant of John French, KP, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCMG, PC (and whatever other letter combinations there may be), her ancestor spent the war in Chateaux well behind the front line.

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2 hours ago, cybil said:

The kids of ages 9-16, from the British Isles as well as Canada, are invited to write a poem or create a piece of art, might want to take a crack at less stereotypical topics for honoring those who served by taking a very different point of view than the committee might expect:  

 

Treatment of 'enemy alien's during WWI in the Britsih Isles (or Canada, as Canadians are also invited to participate). https://schoolworkhelper.net/enemy-aliens-in-wwi/ (Canada) or https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/enemy_aliens_and_internment for ideas. You can also Google images of 'enemy aliens + wwi' for some visual arts ideas. 

 

OR

 

Conscientious objectors in WWI try http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-35841107/the-conscientious-objectors-of-ww1 

 

just a thought. 

 

 

Right. They could also tell how the Aussies told Haig where he could stick his demand to introduce the death penalty for their own soldiers.

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2 hours ago, cybil said:

The kids of ages 9-16, from the British Isles as well as Canada,

 

On 11.1.2018, 05:35:33, Dusty said:

  The competition is open throughout the world

 

Kids here can join in too, all languages accepted.

 

I think it is a good idea, as cybil says, because there are masses of angles, and kids can investigate any. Learning about it cannot surely be a bad thing. We are stuck with what happened, but we have the choice to use our shared horror of that part of history to encourage other responses to international tension than fighting and slaughtering each other.

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7 hours ago, SA618 said:

In my opinion, most of the countries of Europe would be better off if they did not put so much effort into remembering the 20th century wars and would instead focus on the future.

That is a very strong claim. No, actually this is a pile of horse shit. Most countries of Europe would be better off if they give up smoking and ride a bicycle. That claim is also very strong, but at least it is supported by some research.

 

7 hours ago, SA618 said:

Every time i hear the Poles or the Greeks talking about reparations or Germans incensed by using terms like Wroclaw and Gdansk instead of Breslau and Danzig, it seem like the basic History instruction in the schools combined with an endless stream of crockumentaries keeps the wounds partially open in case reasons are needed to slug it out with the neighbors. 

 

This kind of people, who talk this kind of shit, have no future. In both Greece and Poland these are people who are in deep financial crisis due to the economic situation in their country, they have no future, so they think about the past only. Nothing will help them.

 

Belgium and UK are the countries who still remember First World War. Actually, for Belgium that war was the war, not WWII as for most other countries. Belgium has a good relationship with Germany, it is in the EU, actually, Belgium is the EU. But they still remember atrocities committed by the German army during WWI. Chemical weapon (now forbidden by UN) was first tested by the German army on Belgian territory.  They moved on, but they remember. No contradiction here.

 

@Oblomov, that's for you:

IMG_9181.JPG.6ad95959b8c2b4df80f6e070f1d

 

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I probably can't see the wood for trees, but where does it say anywhere on that site that children are encouraged to say "Thank You"? 

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War is a racket.

-Smedley D. Butler

 

War, Ha! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

-Edwin Starr 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, yourkeau said:

That is a very strong claim. No, actually this is a pile of horse shit. Most countries of Europe would be better off if they give up smoking and ride a bicycle. That claim is also very strong, but at least it is supported by some research.

 

You have offered no arguments to rebut my point other than declaring it a pile of horse sh!t.    Feel free to offer some facts or evidence if you are so convinced.    

 

"Because yourkeau says so" does not meet necessary and sufficient conditions to establish much of anything.  

 

8 hours ago, yourkeau said:

 

This kind of people, who talk this kind of shit, have no future. In both Greece and Poland these are people who are in deep financial crisis due to the economic situation in their country, they have no future, so they think about the past only. Nothing will help them.

 

Poland is in a financial crisis?   Actually it is doing well economically.   

 

Poland, Greece, and Germany are but a few examples.   The Ukraine has outlawed school instruction in languages other than Ukrainian causing a rift with Hungary.   The large populations of Hungarians living in Slovakia and Romania also create opportunities for volatility.   Ukraine and Russia offer a good opportunity for a flashpoint.   The Russian minorities in the Baltics can act as a source of tension if needed as well.    

 

The people in Germany, like Erich Steinbach and her buddies from the Bund der Vertriebene, may be extreme, but the current Bundeskanzlerin as well as the Interior Minister and a long list of prominent CDU and CSU politicians have made speeches at BdV gatherings.    I have met more than a few people in Germany whose parents were relocated from Poland who believe that the Polish government is guilty of theft of their property.     These are not people who have no future or find themselves mired in financial crisis.   

 

8 hours ago, yourkeau said:

Belgium and UK are the countries who still remember First World War. Actually, for Belgium that war was the war, not WWII as for most other countries. Belgium has a good relationship with Germany, it is in the EU, actually, Belgium is the EU. But they still remember atrocities committed by the German army during WWI. Chemical weapon (now forbidden by UN) was first tested by the German army on Belgian territory.  They moved on, but they remember. No contradiction here.

 

There are no territory disputes, property claims, accusations of genocide or cultural suppression in the relationship between Belgium and Germany.   

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4 hours ago, trr said:

War is a racket.

-Smedley D. Butler

 

War, Ha! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

-Edwin Starr 

 

Say it again.

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