Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Armistice Day

Today at 11 the phantoms of the fallen and the spirit of the serving filled two minutes as we stood with heads bowed and uncovered. It is not just today that we should remember, not just today that we should acknowledge that all we have, all we are, is because of those who gave everything and that we keep it because of those who serve today. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month is important because it is then that we share that knowledge. It is then that we stand together in humility. We remembered them today at 11 and should thank them every day.

During the Great War Baily's Hunting Directory included lists of those in Hunt Service and Masters who had died on active service. These pages make poignant reading.  The pages from the 1916 edition are reproduced below. (Images can be enlarged with a click.)

Selby-Lowndes, Master from 1900 until 1930, ineligible for service organised bye days during The Great War for the troops at Shorncliffe and in the various tented camps around our country that they could enjoy a days sport before embarking for the Western Front. 

There are many cases too of troops taking hounds to France so that a day's sport might distract from the horror of war.

The author is reminded of a Snaffles painting from WW II and wonders if such a scene took place on Stelling Minnis where a Bren Gun Carrier unit was stationed.

It was fitting that the crowd of foot followers, supporter, welcoming locals and those mounted should not only bow their heads in honour to our fallen servicemen but also that all present should smile and laugh and enjoy the day. Those men and women, young and old, gave their lives, their health or limbs, not that we should be forever filled with sorrow but that we could have the freedom to live our lives. It is that which we owe them.


Clicking on an image gives access to a larger version.
These and many more may be found at:
  • The Gather's Field Sports page - HERE (the gallery will not be complete until Thursday morning) and at 
  • Combat Moose Photography HERE

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