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Article: The Unknown Soldier (Why we wear the Poppy)

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    The Unknown Soldier (Why we wear the Poppy)

    33 Comments by Doc Vernon Published on 26th October 2018 06:34 AM


    On November 7th, 1920, in strictest secrecy, four unidentified British bodies were exhumed from temporary battlefield cemeteries at Ypres, Arras, the Asine and the Somme.
    None of the soldiers who did the digging were told why.
    The bodies were taken by field ambulance to GHQ at St-Pol-Sur-Ter Noise. Once there, the bodies were draped with the union flag. Sentries were posted and Brigadier-General Wyatt and a Colonel Gell selected one body at random. The other three were reburied. A French Honour Guard was selected and stood by the coffin overnight of the chosen soldier overnight. On the morning of the 8th November, a specially designed coffin made of oak from the grounds of Hampton Court arrived and the Unknown Warrior was placed inside. On top was placed a crusaders sword and a shield on which was inscribed:

    "A British Warrior who fell in the GREAT WAR 1914-1918 for King and Country". On the 9th of November, the Unknown Warrior was taken by horse-drawn carriage through Guards of Honour and the sound of tolling bells and bugle calls to the quayside. There, he was saluted by Marechal Foche and loaded onto HMS Vernon bound for Dover. The coffin stood on the deck covered in wreaths, surrounded by the French Honour Guard. Upon arrival at Dover, the Unknown Warrior was met with a nineteen gun salute - something that was normally only reserved for Field Marshals. A special train had been arranged and he was then conveyed to Victoria Station, London. He remained there overnight, and, on the morning of the 11th of November, he was finally taken to Westminster Abbey. The idea of the unknown warrior was thought of by a Padre called David Railton who had served on the front line during the Great War the union flag he had used as an altar cloth whilst at the front, was the one that had been draped over the coffin.It was his intention that all of the relatives of the 517,773 combatants whose bodies had not been identified could believe that the Unknown Warrior could very well be their lost husband, father, brother or son... THIS is the reason we wear poppies. We do not glorify war. We remember - with humility - the great and the ultimate sacrifices that were made, not just in this war, but in every war and conflict where our service personnel have fought - to ensure the liberty and freedoms that we now take for granted. Every year, on the 11th of November, we remember the Unknown Warrior. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.Lest We Forget
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 26th October 2018 at 06:38 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: The Unknown Soldier (Why we wear the Poppy)

    I went to a lecture a couple of years ago given by an old fellow about the same Vernon. He was in his 90s then. I got the impression it was first hand from himself or his father who had been in attendance at the choice of bodies. I was asked if I would give a speech of thanks to him but said someone who knew him should do so, as I didn’t even know his name. Soon there will be no one left who will remember. Cheers JWS

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    Default Re: The Unknown Soldier (Why we wear the Poppy)

    That JS is unfortunately so true,many Years have passed and all the old Soldiers as the saying goes have all but gone as well, and as you say soon there will be no more Remembrance left,so sad that so many had to Die in both World Wars and it has to I guess eventually end with as I say now 'The Last Post" God Rest all their souls and also those that pass as the Years pass too.
    I am not a very strong believer anymore,(was at one time a very staunch Catholic) but I am sure that there is something or someone out there that will at least remember !??
    May they all rest in Peace!
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    Default Re: The Unknown Soldier (Why we wear the Poppy)

    There is not just WW1 and WW2 BUT all the wars in-between and after.
    Korea, Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, Israel. Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Borneo, Aden, Egypt. Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan.and so on.
    Where there is a politician there is or will be a War.
    and here we have several who want to ban Remembrance Day as it Glorifies War. They have been, or lost a family member.
    Brian

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    Default Re: The Unknown Soldier (Why we wear the Poppy)

    #3.. Vernon on your deathbed or otherwise will be when the truth comes out. I doubt there’re are very many true believers today. I was brought up as a youth as a church goer , but this was never enforced on me at a later age.going to sea at an early age one saw the seamy side of life, so any faith one had was sorely strained.However I found when you thought you were there in those last split seconds of life you turned to someone for help and made all sorts of rash promises . To go back on those promises would appear cowardly today, and death has to be acceptable. Other people it makes them feel more comfortable to believe in a supreme being we are all different. However when the time comes, how one faces up to it will be proof enough if one is a believer or non believer. JWS.
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 26th October 2018 at 10:08 PM.

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    Default Re: The Unknown Soldier (Why we wear the Poppy)

    To believe in something is ones comfort and salvation. To believe in an after life or not is sacrosanct to the believer. Nobody should try and divert someones personal beliefs and expectations. Only on death will expectations and beliefs be realised and only by those who have died.
    When one door closes another one shuts, it must be the wind

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    Default Re: The Unknown Soldier (Why we wear the Poppy)

    There is a total difference in the act of dying and that is to the circumstances of such, is totally different to try and compare dying in hospital lying in a comotose state, with drugs to counteract the pain and being maybe on the way out due to illness and age, than to a young fit man be he soldier, sailor or civilian to. Die. Violently in war , the only thing to hope for is the end is quick. To most young men and women on the battlefield the end wasnt quick and they had. To die in circumstances mostly painful and extended. Death would have appeared inconceivable to most as would have had their lives and hopes stretching for years to come. They didn’t ask to die. They should never be forgotten or pushed to one side. Those who advocate such should be ignored and considered as lepers. JS

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    Default Re: The Unknown Soldier (Why we wear the Poppy)

    World War One, declared to be the war to end all wars.
    But here we are 100 years later and still man is finding other men to kill.

    Greed, domination, access to other wealth, the reasons never end neither will war.
    No matter how many peace treaties are signed, pacts of non aggression it will not cease.


    Man since the days of Adam has been at war and nothing has changed since then.


    Yes we honor the memory of those who gave so we may live, but there are those who do not and so continue killing.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: The Unknown Soldier (Why we wear the Poppy)

    On all our news channels, daily programs etc. Here, I have only seen one person wearing the poppy correctly with the green leaf at 11 o clock.
    Rgds
    J.A.

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    Default Re: The Unknown Soldier (Why we wear the Poppy)

    #9... John we have your David Beckham out here to stand in for Harry at the invictus games. I see by personal perception he seems to have a few more tattoos around his neck regions, I wouldn’t want to know about other areas. I sincerely hope he has learned by now to wear his OBE on his left breast and not his right as he was prone to doing in the past, after all he is supposed to be in this case at least an ambassador of his country. Although I could think of people better equipped to do so. Cheers JWS.

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