There is an alternative to red

whiteThere is an alternative to red, and it is white. I wear both, one or other, and none; I do not feel obliged to wear one. I am going to miss Southend-on-Sea’s Remembrance Day commemoration at the Cenotaph on Clifftown Parade this year, but only because a fractured foot prevents me from going. I will, though, in my own quiet way contemplate the sacrifices of those who fought to keep us free from tyranny.

I cannot help but be aware of the huge sacrifices made by the UK’s armed forces. Both my grandparents fought in the First World War.

Arthur Ware Lane volunteered in 1915. Family tradition has it that he was the company chef, but eventually volunteered for action and died in his first battle. This was in Arras; he was recorded as missing presumed killed on 8th May 1917. My father was three years old.

Joseph Frank de Lobel fled to Britain in 1914 when his native Belgium was invaded by the Germans. He then fought to liberate his homeland. He did , however, survive the war and settled in the UK. He married Lily Georgina Rush on 14th September 1918 in Herne Hill (Kent), and his fourth and last child was my mother, born in 1929.

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