The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

Posted by Tory Historian Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It is ninety years since that fateful hour when the guns fell silent and the hopes of peace, never realized, were born. The last British veteran of the Great War died just a few days ago and, it would seem, that we have lost all direct link with that conflict.

The 1914 - 1918 war changed the world in a way we have not yet fully managed to deal with. The years before 1939, the Second World War, the subsequent battle with Communism, were all the outcome of that earlier conflict. The wars in the Middle East and the Gulf are also the outcomes of it and of the collapse of the empires that had divided the world. We shall live with that for a long time before we can go to another era, no longer the post 1918 one.

For today we must remember the soldiers who died in that conflict and in the many conflicts since and think of those who are fighting in other wars.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


  1. Simon Harley Says:
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.  
  3. Simon Harley Says:
  4. Apologies, I missed a big bit out of my post!

    I was somewhat puzzled by the news a few days back about a veteran of the Great War dying. I think it was an Australian, formerly a Briton who had died, but I can't remember. I think you may have been confused by the same report, dare I say it ToryHistorian.

    Harry Patch, aged 110, fought in the trenches - there is reportedly only one other man alive on Earth who did so. Bill Stone, 108, served as a stoker in both World Wars. Henry Allingham was present at one of the largest naval battles in history, Jutland, is the last surviving member of the Royal Naval Air Service and the last of the founding members of the Royal Air Force. He is also the oldest man in Europe, at 112. The three of them were at the Cenotaph service yesterday. I regret to say I have forgotten who it was, but one of the three, who were all wheelchair bound, attempted to place his poppy wreath himself but could not. Very sad.

    So fortunately, we have not quite lost our last human link with the war! And I rather hope for the sakes of those men we don't lose it for a few more years at least.

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