The conflict of World War I involved 30 nations and resulted in the deaths of 16 million soldiers and civilians.
The 11th of November 2018 marked 100 years since Armistice Day - the end of the killing.
Our appreciation of the horror of this war and the sacrifices given diminishes with the passage of time.
‘Reflections on War’ - through portraiture photography and words - links and contrasts some of those lives that were abruptly changed or damaged by war with the lives of their descendents.
This is Adam Hogg Buckle, our Great Great Grandfather.
Adam was born on the 1st of May 1894 in Kirkby Stephen the son of John and Mary Buckle. and 1 of 12 children. They grew up at Blue Grass, Stainmore.
His parents were farmers and before the war he lived a simple life working on the farm using horses to work the land. This resulted in him eventually working with horses during the war. He was single when he left for war.
He enlisted on 20 November 2015. He became No. 570 in the 28th (Reserve) Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers. After basic training he was compulsorily transfered to Machine Gun Corps No. 30910. As a farmer and with a knowledge of horses he was posted to the transport section of 182 Company as a driver.
Following his 6 week training course in Machine Gunnery at Belton Park near Grantham he was sent immedialtey to France and Flanders on 16 June 1916.
Machine Gun Corpse companies were about 160 strong and about 100 men operated the 16 Vickers heavy machine guns in the front line. The remaining men formed the transport section looking after about 50 horses and mules. It was a hazardous job because the roads and tracks up to the front from supply bases some miles behind were under constant shellfire by the enemy.
In March 1918 their company amalgamated with 3 others. The Machine Gun Corps was now about 800 strong with 64 guns and around 200 horses and mules. On 12 June 1918 he passed a trade test which confirmed him in the ranks as a shoe-smith. This resulted in a small pay increase. The method of the ‘cold shoeing’ of animals was not in a blacksmiths forge but close to the front line.
Battles and operations 1916 - 1919 : Attack at Formelles - German retreat to the Hindenberg Line, Battle of Ypres, Battle of Langemarck, Battle St Quentin, Actions at Somme, Battle of Estaires, Battle of hazelbrouck, Battle of Bethune, Battle of Selle, Battle of Valenciennes, Withdraw to Camrai.
In July 1919 he was drafted to Egypt and black Sea with the Battalion being disbanded in Agust 1919. In 1922 he was issued with the silver British War and bronze Victory medals.
Adam survived the war without sustaining any injury or serious illness which was quite unusual in the Machine Gun Corps which had a very high casualty rate.
We are Joe Kirkland age 16 and Charlie Kirkland aged 14.
We live and were were born in Penrith and attend Ullswater Community College. Joe plans to start Newton Rigg College in September 2017 to study Land Based Engineering. Charlie is a member of the Penirth Air Cadets. This is a real passion of his and he hopes to join the RAF on leaving school. He would like be a Weapons Technician.
Following the war our Gread Grandad married Mary Walker from Bowes in 1922. Together they had 11 children. He lived a quiet life, his employment being mainly farm work. He farmed from Stoney Gill, Orton, Bretherdale, Wet Sleddle and Swindale. He also spent time working at Shap Granite too. He eventually retired to Burnbanks in 1961. One of his daughter's can recall him having quiet moments. She used to think he was being ‘moody’ but now she realises that he was probably reflecting over his time in the war. He never talked of the war and we don’t know what happened to his medals.
He died in 1980 leaving behind many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
‘Dear Great Grandad,
We are your Great Grandchildren Joe and Charlie. We think what you did in the war was very valiant and we understand that we wouldn’t be here today without brave and valiant people like you.
We wonder if you would be disappointed with life today as World War I was supposed to be the war to end all of wars, but sadly there is still fighting. Did you agree with the war? You fought with many brave men. Did you take comfort from your companions? You probably had to kill many men. If you hadn’t killed them, would they have killed you?
We think it must have been catastrophic to be made to leave your home and family and go to war. You must have felt great depression and trauma with all you witnessed.
Thank you for fighting for us all. We hope that you were proud of your war efforts as you have helped give us the future we have today and we can’t thank you enough.
We are very proud of you.
Joe and Charlie Kirkland’
In your photograph we see a friendly and warm man. You look very disciplined and proud in your uniform. We think you are thinking about your family and wondering what it will be like in different countries. We wonder if he is thinking ’this is actually going to happen’ and it's going to be quite an adventure.
This is my father, William Wilding, who was born on the 26th March 1896 in a small village called Whitestake in the parish of Longton in Lancashire.
His parents later moved to Preston and Farrington. He had an older brother and two sisters and also a younger brother. Both his father who was a railway pointsman and his brother died whilst he was serving in World War I.
After leaving school he worked in an office before volunteering in the early stages of the 1st World War when he joined the Army and served in the Royal Artillery as a signaller.
Unfortunately his service records are lost and he never wished to discuss his experiences so I do not know which campaigns he was involved in. However his family have said that he was gassed twice and had 6 horses killed from under him. These and other traumatic experiences affected him him for the rest of his life. In addition to the Victory and the British medals he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.
After being demobbed he worked at Dick Kerrs - later English Electric - in Preston and attended the local night school, Harris Tech, studying electrical engineering. Sometime I think in the early 1920’s he moved to Leyland Motors as an auto electrical design draughtsman until his retirement and where he enjoyed a very high reputation. One area he was in involved in was the development of tanks during World War II - probably the Centaur and Cromwell and later the Centurian.
During the 2nd World War he served as a Lieutenant in the Home Guard and also later as an officer in the Air Training Corps even though healthwise he was still suffering from the gassing and experiences of World War I. I must say that I have always been impressed and proud of the Service he willingly gave to our country.
On a brighter note he was a very keen golfer, winning several silver cups, and supported Leyland Golf Club in various roles including a spell as Captain. I recall many occasions when I walked around the golf course with him on his round of golf - it was only a 9 hole course in those days.
His other favourite pastime was hiking and rock climbing - particularly in the Lake District where he led the Leyland Motors Rambling Club on their regular weekend trips. In the early days of footpath certification he assisted in plotting established public footpaths. I remember our first family holiday after the war was to Braithwaite. On the domestic side he was a very competent and creative DIY individual and kept in regular contact with his two sisters and brother as well as my Mother’s family.
His later years were lifted enormously with the arrival of his 3 granddaughters - he thought they were absolutely wonderful. He died on the 15th March 1970.
I will always remember how supportive he was and have nothing but very pleasant and fond memories of him.
Thank you Dad.
My name is William Sheehan Wilding and I was born on the 14th October 1934 in Leyland.
I lived in Leyland until Iris and I married. We then lived in Whittle-le-Woods and Clayton-le-Woods until moving back to Leyland in 1976 where we remained until moving to Orton in 2008.
I served with the RAF as a radar fitter from 1958 - 1960. Before doing my National Service I had completed my professional qualification whilst at Chorley Borough Council. Following my discharge from the RAF I returned to local government as an engineer and was later appointed as Surveyor and Water Engineer to Chorley RDC and in 1974 held the post of Borough Engineer and Director of Works to Chorley Borough Council until my retirement. My qualifications are C.Eng., F.I.C.E. I have also served as a School Manager/ Governor for 47 years (so far).
I was always very impressed with the Service you gave to our country through your time in the army, Home Guard and ATC and the high reputation you were held in for your work at Leyland Motors. Additionally I was always conscious that you always had my best interests at heart.
You always felt it was important for me to have ‘letters’ after my name and you were very pleased when I achieved this. I’m sure that you would have been delighted when I was appointed to Chief Officer posts and later that I have been fortunate to have had a long and happy retirement.
You would have been absolutely thrilled to know that your three grand daughters all successfuly attended university and received 5 degrees and a PGCE between them and then becoming a science teacher, a doctor and a forensic scientist. And equally your 8 great grand children are all following in their parents footsteps - your great grandson being awarded an MSc in Mechanical Engineering.
I think that you would be impressed with the technical advances in engineering, quality of life, medicine etc but I doubt that you would approve of twitter and facebook.’
This is Beattie Ball.
In fact this is actually Beattie Howard as I don’t think she had married yet. But really I should call her Great Great Grandma. She was born to Thomas and Alice Howard in Littleborough in 1888 and was the eldest of their 8 children – 4 boys and 4 girls. The family moved to Southport sometime between 1911 and 1914 and settled in Wennington Road.
During the First World War Beattie became a VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) Nurse and worked on D Ward in the Grange (also known as Woodlands). This was sited near where the Law Courts and the Fire Station can be found now, at the East end of Lord St in Southport. Apparently it was not unusual for this small hospital to receive up to 75 injured servicemen in one night.
Beattie kept an autograph book and some of the men she nursed signed it and left messages and poems. One wrote:
‘If you have kind words to say, say them now
Tomorrow may not come your way
Do a kindness while you may
Loved ones will not always stay
Say them now’
Signed ‘Rfn A Nash, 12th County of London Regt (The Rangers)’
Another entry is signed ‘Pte W Ribbans, Wounded 18th August 1916, 4 Batt Suffolk Regt’
My name is Rowan Williams.
I was born in October 1998 in Hampshire. I have two younger brothers and have just begun studying Archaeology at Cardiff University. I swim competitively. I’m a blue belt red tag (3rd Kup) in Taekwondo and I love my cats.
Looking at the woman in the photograph, it is almost impossible to think of her as my Great Great Grandma as in this picture she is a similar age to me.
After the war she married my Great Great Grandad, William Ball. She was his second wife as his first, Ann, died leaving a daughter called Irene. Beattie went on to produce 3 children: Harry, Jean and my Great Grandma Edith – I can just about remember her, but she died just before I was three.
Beattie looks smart, determined and hopeful in the photograph. I wonder if she has had that uniform long. I wonder if the injured men she nursed left her with invisible scars. I wonder what she’d say to my brother who wants to join the Forces one day…
This is my grandfather, Tom Carradice.
Born in December 1896 in Sedbergh, where his father, James Carradice, was a woollen mill worker. Tom had four brothers and four sisters. Tom and two of his brothers, Edward and Isaac, served in World War I.
I never asked Grandad, who died when I was 12, about his early life, but his brother Isaac told me that life was hard. Their father had a reputation as a heavy drinker and when once I asked Isaac about him he just said “we don’t talk about those times”. However hard their upbringing might have been, in later life the siblings were all very close friends and perhaps they always had been.
In the War Grandad was in the Royal Artillery. He joined up in 1915, claiming to be a year older than he actually was. Once in France he was assigned to Brigade 106, Royal Field Artillery, which spent the rest of the War in the Western Front, attached to the 24th Division.
Actions in which he would have taken part included the Battles of the Somme (1916), Arras, Messines, 3rd Ypres (Passchendaele) (all 1917), and Somme, Cambrai, and the Advance through Picardy (all 1918). When I asked him about the War, all he talked about were the horses he looked after. It took 6 horses to pull each 18 pounder field gun, and as a gunner he would have to hitch up the gun to the horses, then ride one as they pulled the gun. Once in position, the team would dismount and fire a few shells, then quickly move on again, hopefully before enemy fire could be returned. The field guns moved forward, keeping pace with the advancing infantry, whom they were attempting to protect.
In May 1917 my Grandad was awarded the Military Medal “for bravery in the field”. I don ‘t know the circumstances because he never talked about it (though his best friend in the War always stated that Tom had saved his life). The medal was likely to have been awarded for actions in the Battle of Arras in April 1917, when his Brigade was heavily involved in supporting the attack on Vimy Ridge (led by Canadian infantry). The Battle of Arras cost Britain and her allies nearly 160,000 casualties and it was also memorable for “the most concentrated and powerful bombardment of the war”. Grandad was a Gunner at the time he received his Military Medal, but he later rose to the rank of Bombardier and he was also trained as a Signaller (as shown by the crossed flags on the sleeve of his uniform).
He survived the War, but his service included short spells in field hospitals and he travelled back to England in 1919 in a hospital ship. He also suffered for the rest of his life with respiratory problems, probably caused at least in part from exposure to gas.
In the same year that he was demobbed (1919) Grandad moved to Tebay and he lived there for the rest of his life, working on the railways until his retirement about 1960. In 1923 he married Elsie May Fothergill (born Tebay, 23 May 1900) and they had two sons: Arthur (1925-1969, served in World War II) and Brian (1928-1982). Tom died 29 January 1966 and is buried in St James’ churchyard, Tebay
My name is Ian Carradice.
I was born on 10 July 1953 when Arthur, my father was working for the railways in Tebay, along with his father and brother. My first home was 2 Chapel Terrace, Tebay, but we later moved to Preston, then Liverpool. I went to University at Liverpool (BA 1973) then St Andrews (PhD 1980). In 1977, before completing my Doctorate, I was appointed to the British Museum, London, as a curator in the Department of Coins and Medals. I worked there until 1989 when I returned to St Andrews - now with a wife and three young children. At St Andrews I taught Museum Studies in the School of Art History, becoming Professor in 1999 and Head of School 2002-6. I was also Director of Museum Collections at the University and I supervised the establishment of a new University Museum (MUSA) in 2008. In 2012 I took early retirement and moved back to Tebay for a new life as a sheep farmer having bought Intake Farm in 2009.
You may be surprised that your youngest grandchild is now back in Tebay. Whenever I drive into the village I first see the house where Grandma was born, then the house where you both lived for most of your lives and then the house where I lived as a baby with my brother and parents. The Cross Keys, where your wedding reception was held, is still here, and so is the bench across the road where you used to sit in retirement with your two pals, Jack and Tommy. I’ve had a busy and rewarding life so far, but I’m thankful that I didn’t have to risk my life in a world war like you and Dad did. One of my daughters, however, did serve in Iraq with the RAF, so wars still go on! It’s a pity that I didn’t have more time with you, so I was not able to ask you more about your life, but the little I know of you will not be forgotten by your family,
When I look at the photo of my Grandad I see a young man, only about 21 years of age but already in his 3rd year of the ‘Great War’. By the end of the War more than 49000 men of the Royal Artillery had been killed. I wonder how many friends he had already lost by the time this photo was taken? How did he get through this most horrific of wars? He once told me that the men were all ordered to present for duty every day clean shaven and smart, even though they might have had to use cold water (or no water). In old age, Grandad would still shave and dress smart, with a jacket and tie, just to spend his day sitting on a bench in Tebay. Did the discipline of daily life in the army, including the care of your equipment, and, in Grandad’s case, the horses to which he was so devoted, provide a purpose to life and something other than the horrors of war to focus on? Perhaps this was the key to survival. So here he sits, looking calm and assured, a cigarette in his left hand, as if to say “I’m still here, in one piece”.
This is my grandfather Thomas Cawthorne.
He was born in Barnard Castle in County Durham in 1886 and died in Sunderland in1962
His family came from Barnard Castle and he was one of eight children. Their father was a shopkeeper and their mother was a milliner. Thomas trained as a confectioner making sweetmeats and pastries - and was an amateur boxer in his spare time.
Moving to Sunderland, he married Kitty and started a family of his own just before the outbreak of World War I.
The photograph shows Thomas in the uniform of the Durham Light Infantry but it was with the West Yorkshire regiment that he saw action at the battle of Passchendaele in 1917, one of the muddiest and bloodiest battles of the First World war. One of his duties was to instruct in the throwing of hand grenades - and the family subsequently kept a defused one at home at a momento.
Corporal Thomas Cawthorne "served with honour and was disabled in the Great War”, being honourably discharged on 16 April 1918. Returning home to Sunderland, and suffering from the effects of gas, he was hospitalised to aid his recovery. The Royal Infirmary - as it was known then - was located at the end of his street and he would often climb over the fence and spend the evenings at home!
After the war, Thomas had a change of career and found work in the local shipyards training to be a technical draughtsman. Learning the skills needed to produce drawings to enable the construction of ships. My mother told me that in their house they had a plan chest full of his drawings together with all the equipment needed to make them.
His health never fully recovered from his experience in the war but he and Kitty had seven children including my mother Kathleen.
My name is Michael Shiel and I was born in Sunderland.
I trained as an Architect and now live in both London and Cumbria.
Like my grandfather, my work included the production of technical drawings and some of the equipment he used is also familiar to me.
He would be surprised to to learn that drawings are now no longer produced by hand but with computers instead. He would also be disappointed to hear that no more ships are built in Sunderland.
Looking at his photograph now I see a man who, like so many, would have been proud to wear the uniform but would have no idea of what was about to happen to them.
This is my grandfather, Percy Morris Isherwood, who was born in 1884, the second of five children.
His father was an operative spinner in the local mill near Derby Street in Bolton and aged 17 he worked in the same mill as a cotton piecer. Until he was married he lived in the family home, a large terraced house with attics, a cellar, a back scullery with one cold tap and an earth closet down the yard by the back gate Grandfather was 27 when he got married and moved to a mill in Halliwell ( the northern side of Bolton) as a operative cotton spinner. Grandfather was 59 when I was born — we lived in Halliwell, Bolton and my grandparents lived nearby.
We all worshiped at St Paul's Church, Halliwell, where both my grandparents (in 1911) and parents had been married (in 1939) and I was christened in 1943.
My grandfather was superintendent of the Sunday school where he taught the men's class (150) on a Sunday afternoon and my grandmother taught the women's Bible class of 100. My mother sang in the choir and my father was the organist.
My grandfather joined the Royal Army Medical Corps on 16 October 1915 aged 32 years and 5 days. His army number was 103046. I suspect that as a devote Christian he requested this regiment. At Christmas that year my grandmother sent him a book called 'In Green Pastures' (a reading for every day of the year ). This little book with its maroon leather cover has been well used. On 19 August 1917 he was given another book 'My Prayer Book' with the inscription inside reading, Private P M Isherwood RAMC, 71st Field Ambulance, Elverdinge, modc, Belgium.
It is also stamped with the words, Talbot House, B.E.F. During the war he became a member of TocH, an international Christian organization founded by the Rev Tubby Clayton in Poperinghe in Belgium in 1915. It was a refuge for men to go and sit quietly and rest while away from the front and styled as an Every Man's Club where all soldiers were welcome, regardless of rank.
When he returned to Bolton after the war he was a founder member of a branch of TocH in the town. These branches spread all over the UK and the world but sadly have now closed.
I remember my grandfather as a kindly man with his grandchildren but my mother used to say how strict he was (a typical Victorian parent). He was fond of his food and enjoyed tripe and onions. I remember helping to peel the skin off tomatoes as he suffered from stomach ulcers all his life.
In Bolton all the mills closed for 3 weeks both in June and 3 the end of September for the Bolton holidays. My grandfather organized 2 lots of holidays, June and September in Morecambe for the people of the church and Halliwell. My grandparents stayed for 3 weeks and each week a new set of people arrived. During each week he organised days out and visits to the theatre. He began these holidays before he retired and ran them until he was in his eighties. His other hobbies were keeping fish and gardening.
He died in February 1972 and St Paul's church was packed.
My name is Elizabeth Crossley.
Is it nature or nurture I wonder, I guess it's a bit of both, because I believe that my life has been influenced by the example of my grandfather, parents and my aunt.
I have lived in the parish of Orton for 13 years having moved from Cheshire. I was deputy headteacher in a tough comprehensive school in Chester until I was fortunate to get early retirement when I was only 50.
My grandfather, my aunt and my parents all volunteered in various ways during their lives. This commitment to community life revolved around volunteering both at their local parish church and in the Guide Association.
Before I left home for college in London I was a member of the church choir at the Holy Ascension, Upton by Chester and I was a member of the Brownie unit, progressing through to the Guide unit and Land Ranger unit at that church. While a guide I gained the highest qualification in that section — the Queens Guide Award.
After college I returned to Chester and took up a position as a teacher in a local authority secondary school, teaching geography. I returned to my volunteering role and became a Sunday School teacher (kindergarten) in Upton. I also returned to my guiding and took over the running of a Brownie unit in a different part of the town.
As a Brownie Guider I took my Brownies away on holidays each year to various Guide centres in the North West of England. Later I progressed to becoming a Licensed Trainer for adult Brownie Leaders in the UK and travelled to many places mainly in North West England helping Brownie Guiders with planning their programmes for meetings.
I also became a Guide Guider and again took many girls away to camp — fortunately I had plenty of summer holidays to fit in both Brownie pack holidays and Guide camps.
While Guiding in North West England I was appointed as Outdoor Adviser to the Region — assisting and enabling Guiders to gain qualifications to take their girls boating, camping, holidaying and walking. I made many friends in the North West and am still in touch with them today. Back home in Cheshire I was appointed firstly District, then Division and finally assistant County Commissioner. I still keep in touch with Cheshire Guiders. Today I am the president of Cumbria East Division of Girlguiding.
We bought a holiday cottage in Tebay (one of the railway cottages) and I worshipped at Tebay church whenever we came for a weekend or summer holiday. When the organist retired I took over playing the organ and became a member of the Church PCC and did this for ten years. Much later after we moved permanently to Rayne, in Orton parish I began to worship at Orton church, sing with the choir and bake cakes for the various fund raising events.
Like my grandfather I have a love of gardening and it has been a steep learning curve between gardening in Cheshire where I was able to grow pumpkins outside to gardening in Cumbria where I can only grow fruit bushes and rhubarb outside. So I now have two poly-tunnels and two greenhouses for the salad crops, tomatoes, peppers, beans, turnips and parsnips etc.
This is my grandfather, Walter Ayre, the seventh of eight children.
His father was a blacksmith and was born in 1891 in the smithy premises at White Cross Street Barton on Humber.
At an early age he was singing in the choir at St Peter's church, Barton on Humber. His love of music never waned and he sang and conducted choirs for most of his life. He became interested in bell ringing in 1901 when he heard the bells of Gainsborough ringing half muffled for Queen Victoria's funeral, this led to a lifelong love of bell ringing .
As a 22 year old school teacher, living at 18 Cromwell Street, Gainsborough, Walter joined the Territorial Army on 3rd September 1914. He joined the Royal Field Artillery, North Midland Brigade as a gunner. On the 5th December 1914 he was promoted to acting Bombardier and then to Bombardier in the following February. Posted to northern France with the 2nd Lincolnshire Battery , RFA in the British Expeditionary Force on 6th March 1915. His field note book initially places his regiment at an Advanced Post at Doulieu Church in April 1915 and then constantly moving with the ebb and flow of the frontline. Here are a few lines found in his Field Note Book:-
' I kill them quick but they are killing one slow and if I have another night of it I shall be either mad or dead before morning.'
Walter never talked to his family about what he had done or where he had fought. He briefly talked about events around the 13th October 1915 when a shell landed in one of his battery's gun emplacements killing most of his friends. For the rest of his life he was always subdued and needed time for himself around this time of year.
Serving for one year 65 days before being discharged medically unfit. At a Royal Engineers’ depot he was accidentally buried under a pile of pit props which collapsed on him breaking his right arm on 8th April 1916. In October 1916 Walter reported at Ripon to 'F' Battery No. 1 Reserve Brigade Royal Field Artillery (Territorial). In August 1917 he was official discharge for being physically unfit and it was recorded that he was ' A man on duty, not to blame.’
He married Constance Butters in 1922 - they had two children, Constance Rosina Ayre (1923- 1997) and Henry Peter Ayre (1928- to present ). He taught at two schools in Lincolnshire before becoming the Headteacher of Leverstock Green Primary School, Hertfordshire (1922- 1957).
Playing and refereeing football, cricket on the green, ice skating, tennis and singing and conducting choirs all ensured that he developed good happy relationships with the parents. His love of bell ringing continued and being a mathematician, the construction of the ordered permutations of peals intrigued him. He would have liked to have rung 1000 peals but he was short by 60.
Walter also became a Special Constable in 1927, the year of the General Strike, and served for 35 years becoming Superintendent of D Division.
My name is Tim Ayre, born on 29th June 1957 in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. now living at Cocklake Barn, Tebay, Cumbria.
I am married to Jane and father of Samuel and Edward and am now a retired Headteacher of Crosby Ravensworth School.
My hobbies are drumming, cycling, swimming, travelling in our campervan
It's been a long time since we had a chat. I've been busy and in many ways have led a similar path to you. I ended up marrying that 'Lincolnshire Yella Belly', Jane, who I introduced to you when we visited. We now have two wonderful boys ( well young men) of our own, Sam and Ted. I also trained as a teacher and ended up as a longstanding headteacher too, how strange?
I remember that you were never still, always busy with something or other but mostly ringing peals at different churches across the country and having a pint in the pub that was conveniently next door!
I love my music too especially playing drums. I love the challenge of working out how to play new rhythms, fills and sticking patterns. I play regularly in a couple of bands, mainly that noisy rock and blues music!
I'm in awe of what you let yourself in for during WW1, I would have wanted to keep well away from all the pain and conflict. I would be at my wits end if Sam and Ted were whisked away to fight. I wished you'd have talked more to me about your experiences and your emotions of the events you endured. I'm sure it would have had a beneficial and strengthening affect on both of us and to others later on in life.
I'm pretty sure you are appalled, angry and frustrated at all the conflict in the world today and with the Governments and those in power who still haven't grasped that fact that it is better to resolve problems with handshakes rather than the fist.
Finally, many heartfelt thanks to you and all your mates who went through so much for the freedoms that we have today.
When Iook at your photograph I see a very young, insecure man in an unfamiliar setting who wants to do his duty but feels under prepared and under peer pressure to succeed.
You are exceedingly apprehensive and unsure about what you are going to be asked to do and the situations you will experience. Your mind is on overdrive running through an unending loop of possibilities regarding your mortality and probable death.