They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them
As a family, we were very lucky throughout both World Wars. Yes, the men of the family went off to do their part and the women were left behind to worry and take over their work. Yes, the men saw horrific things, and never talked about them; things that coloured their lives for ever. We were lucky that all our men returned home, largely unscathed physically. We were lucky that their marriages survived intact and healthy.
My grandmother had three sons, one in the Army, one in the Air Force and one in the Royal Navy, and all three returned safe and sound. We were lucky.
On Remembrance Sunday, we should also remember how people were mentally scarred by what they saw and experienced during war. Those memories were buried deep until old age, in many cases, when they rose up again to torture their minds. Many old servicemen have required treatment and counselling to allow them to cope with those deeply buried memories. We, as their descendents, will never really know what happened to them and what the war was like for them.
All I know about my grandfather and his WW1 experiences is that as a high grade saddle maker, he was in great demand to fix the kit of the senior officers and their horses in the desert. He was also a good footballer and played for his unit. The teams had regular fixtures against other unit, often being left behind to play those matches and then having to find their own way back to their own units. Grandad was invalided out and sent home after being close to death from Malaria.
As I said, our family was lucky. Today, we should remember those who were not so lucky, and those families who are still suffering in wars now.