Remembrance Day, in recent years, has taken on a renewed meaning due to the daily reminders of the horrors of war, as we hear of yet another serviceman or woman being killed or injured in far off lands like Afghanistan or Iraq.
Since 1918 when at 11am on 11 November the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years continuous warfare and the German Army was defeated, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month has been internationally recognised as a time of remembrance of those who fought and lost their lives in pursuit of peace against evil and the poppies flowering in the spring of 1915 on the battlefields of Belgium, France and Gallipoli became synonymous with great loss of life in war.
Around the UK two minutes silence will be observed on Friday 11 November at 11am and over the following weekend Bolton will pay its respects in a number of different ways including the 23rd annual Concert of Remembrance at the Albert Halls with a celebration of 1930’s and 40’s music and the emotional playing of the Last Post.
Remembrance Day has come to be recognised as something more than simply a remembrance of those who died in war but more relevantly those who have been wounded and left incapacitated from injuries sustained in hostile actions.
Families are torn apart when loved ones are killed or seriously wounded and more people today respect those sacrifices made and support charities like Help For Heroes as well as the Royal British Legions Poppy Appeal, whose proceeds go towards assisting Service Men and Women as well as their families suffering hardship after injury or death.
Having served in the Royal Navy during the Falklands Conflict in 1982, I personally know the feeling of loneliness experienced by Servicemen and women, far from home and engaged in war and the thought of people at home recognising their efforts by donating to charities or in a united act of remembrance as seen on Remembrance Day is a huge boost to moral.
The period between the Second World War and the Falklands Campaign was the longest period without conflict since the First World War for the British Military, during which time a whole generation had grown up without the experience of war.
If at that time it could have been said that 'the folks back home' were unsympathetic to the plight of those serving, I'm sure that is no longer the case, as daily front line news reports graphically describe the horrors of war.
A hidden ‘killer’ can be post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD as it has become known and local business woman Andrea Daubney has started a charity in memory of her brother Paul who served in HMS Hermes in the Falklands campaign and experienced untold horrors as he assisted in the rescue of survivors from the bombing of Sir Galahad in Bluff Cove on that fateful day in June 1982 when a total of 48 men, most of them Welsh Guards, were killed when Argentine jets attacked the ship.
Paul suffered from the effects of PTSD for 25 years and was found dead at home by Andrea, as a result of this terrible condition. Andrea has since set up The Paul Daubney Memorial Fund to help others suffering from PTSD to access counselling and other treatments by raising money from the recycling of empty toner and ink cartridges. Andrea can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com if you would like to help her raise funds and she will add you to her list for collections.
The Royal British Legion is urging everyone in Bolton to help support the recovery of injured Service Personnel and their families by buying a Poppy wherever you see them for sale over the next few weeks and help them reach their target of collecting £1 Million in Bolton alone!
If you would like to attend the Concert Of Remembrance at The Albert Halls, tickets at £7 are available on line or from the Box Office, Victoria Square or call 01204 334400.
Other events taking place to raise funds for Help For Heroes on 12th November are ‘Dead Live Paranormal Charity Event’, St Helens and ‘Help For Heroes Evening’ at Hollywood Road Sports and Social Club Bolton.