Anderson Shelters and a Bomb that didnt Explode

1943 -44  Living in Seven Kings, a suburb  of London

As the war dragged on, it seemed that every night we were roused from our beds to go to the shelter. We were so very tired – tired of war, tired of shortages, but most of all, tired of the damp and dirty Anderson shelter in the back yard. . It seemed to be where we spent most of our nights. To help fend off the cold  Lily bought me a siren suit, a product developed out of necessity. Almost every young child had one. It was a one-piece outfit that could be pulled on over pyjamas or nightshirts; it had no holes for feet or hands, and included a hood. Quickly buttoned, it was easy to put on a sleepy child and was ideal for long nights in the shelters. The suits were usually donned when the sirens sounded, hence the name Siren-Suit.
On one of many endless nights in the shelter, Lily complained of being very thirsty. During a lull in the bombing, her husband Ben, home on sick leave, made a dash to the kitchen to find a drink. Supposedly, there was a bottle of lemonade sitting on the counter to the left of the kitchen sink. With a strict blackout in effect, He dared not use a light. Instead, he fumbled in the dark feeling for the bottle while, at the same time, listening for the bombs to start falling again. Finally, his hand touched a bottle on the window ledge. Thankfully recognising it as a lemonade bottle, he grabbed it and dashed back to the safety of the shelter.
Handing it to his thirsty wife she immediately put it to her parched lips and took a long swig. Almost instantly she began choking, spitting and gagging! We couldn’t see what was wrong in the dark interior. Ben, obviously concerned, struck a match that dimly lit the shelter. Lily had her head between her knees spitting out the last dregs of whatever it was she’d just swallowed. She slowly regained her composure and then her voice. Turning angrily toward Ben, she asked, ‘What in hell was in that bottle?’ Flustered and unaware of its contents, Ben was about to reply when the match flickered out, burning his fingers. ‘Damn!’ he said, It was his turn to swear. Having returned to darkness, I could no longer see Lily’s angry face. Ben first smelled and then tasted what had been in the bottle. Clearly, it was not lemonade, and in the end turned out to be paraffin, but he felt completely exonerated. It was, after all, Lily who had filled the bottle with paraffin in the first place. No more attempts were made to quench Lily’s thirst on that particular night!

*****

On the last night of Ben’s leave he took us to the cinema. Going to the pictures was an exciting and rare treat. During the early war years, when the blitz was in full swing, cinemas were shut down. It was too dangerous for groups of people to gather in one place.
Heading home that night after the show, I was happily riding on Ben’s shoulders and Lily was walking at his side when the sirens began to wail. For some reason, Ben decided it was a siren test, not a raid. Tests were carried out sometimes, but I could never tell which was which. Ignoring the noise, we continued walking and talking with not a care in the world. Suddenly, planes were overhead, and then we heard the whistling of falling bombs. Ben yelled for Lily to drop to the pavement, at the same time dropping with me still on his shoulders. I crashed hard onto the cold concrete hitting my nose and making it bleed. Already extremely frightened, the sight of blood didn’t help matters. Ben quickly gathered us close and we lay very still.
Bombs were exploding very near as we huddled tightly together, pressing ourselves into the pavement. We heard the thud of a bomb landing in a garden just a few feet from where we lay. Instinctively, we braced for the coming blast, but incredibly it didn’t explode. We didn’t hang around to find out why. In seconds we were up and racing for the nearest shelter. Ben carried me under his arm and pulled Lily along beside him. Bleeding from my nose, scared and crying. I must have looked like a real casualty. An ARP warden standing in the entrance of an underground shelter waved us toward him. He anxiously urged us to hurry before the next wave arrived. Reaching the entrance, Lily quickly grabbed me and ducked inside, leaving poor Ben to explain to the angry warden why we’d failed to heed the siren. That night remains in my memory as a close call, we survived only because the bomb failed to explode.

Please note there is no connection between Lily’s husband’s name, Ben and my nickname, also Ben, mine was picked up years later years later whilst serving in the Royal Navy Submarine Service

God Bless and keep reading

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My Childhood Memories of 2ndWW-continued

The Belfast Blitz – Continued
Posted on Nov 6th, 2017
by irishroverpei


I told of the Percy Street school taking a direct hit, the school was just two street behind our house on Northumberland St. My father decided we should stay in the house and take cover as best we could. This is the story of my family during and after the first night of the blitz.
Northumberland Street was just one of many without air raid shelters. People had to find their own means of protection.   Pop and my two brothers sheltered under our heavy wooden kitchen table. Following civil defense instruction pamphlets, they hung blankets around the table to protect against flying glass and debris. My three sisters and I huddled in the cramped space under the stairs.   That dreadful night seemed to be unending, explosion after explosion crashing around us, sometimes far away, sometimes right outside our door. Each explosion was followed by a tremendous shock wave blasting heat and debris in its path. We heard breaking glass, and the rumble of walls collapsing while houses trembled and shook. The air was choked with smoke and dust from fires roaring everywhere. The night was filled with a thousand noises we couldn’t identify, buildings slowly caving in, bricks and beams tumbling into the streets. My terrified sisters were sure we would not survive the night. I suffered the least. I was afraid of course, but too young to really understand the danger. Bombs fell on the hapless city all night long. When the last bomber disappeared and the all clear sounded, it was after 5 am. The city had been under attack for more than six hours.
As the first grey streaks of dawn broke over the city, people began crawling from shelters and homes to a scene of devastation. Some families, anxiously struggling but unable to open warped doors, climbed through broken windows to reached the street. Everyone was caked in filth, dust and debris, some wearing pajamas or nightshirts, blankets draped over their shoulders. They stood exhausted and trembling, children crying at their sides. Bewildered, they gazed in disbelief at the sight confronting them. Whole areas where once had stood familiar houses and buildings were now gone. All that remained were piles of smoking wreckage. Everywhere buildings blazed, a pall of smoke hung over the city blackening out the sky.   It was difficult to breathe the smoke and dust-laden air. People tied cloths or rags over their noses in an attempt to avoid the smoke. The streets were littered with bricks, bits of concrete, shards of glass and wood splinters. We took stock of our house, or what was left of it. The front door still opened and closed, but no windows had survived. Remnants of torn curtains fluttered in the breeze; dishes, picture frames and ornaments lay smashed on the floor.
Incredibly, our clock, which had been on the mantelpiece, still kept time, ticking in a pile of rubble. Ceilings plaster had fallen in on the kitchen, coating everything in a film of white powdery dust. In the bedrooms daylight flooded through the rafters where few slates remained. We were unable to brew a pot of tea; there was neither gas nor water. As people assessed their damage, news began to filter through from other parts of the city. A passing air raid warden told of a direct hit on the Percy Street shelter, where some 60 souls had died instantly. Pop, concerned about Aunt Cassie and family, decided to go check on them. My eldest brother Tommy volunteered to go with him. As they passed through Dover Street, they came upon Bob Adair’s house. It was wide open, and apparently deserted. Bob was a friend of the family, so they ventured inside looking for some sign of life. On the kitchen table stood a wire container with six eggs. It seemed careless to have left them there they were so scarce. Finding no one home, they continued on to Cassie’s house where they learned that everyone had survived the night okay. On their return journey about 20 minutes later, they passed where Bob Adair’s house should have been. There was nothing left but a pile of rubble. Strangely, in the middle of the wreckage stood the kitchen table, the six eggs still in their container. Pop later learned that a delayed fuse bomb had lodged in the chimney. Air raid wardens had hastily evacuated the house, but neglected to post a warning sign. We have no idea how long after Pop and Tommy left the house the detonation occurred; however, it was surely a very close thing.
God Bless and keep reading

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My Childhood Memories of the 2nd WW

The Belfast Blitz 1941.
Posted on November 6th 2017
by irishroverpei

 

The Belfast Blitz is an unusual story, the city was never prepared for air attacks. Although a major British industrial centre it was not listed as a priority simply because in 1939 when war began we were beyond the range of the German bombers. That all changed in the summer of 1940 when the Germans marched into France,Belgium and the Low Countries.
This is my account of the Belfast Blitz.
Tuesday, April 15, 1941, was Easter. The people of Belfast were enjoying a day off work.
That afternoon it’s unlikely anyone noticed the lone German reconnaissance plane flying high overhead, a harbinger of things to come in the relaxed city below enjoying the holiday.  Just hours away in occupied Europe, the winds of war were turning in our direction as more than two hundred planes prepared for take off on runways in France and the lowlands of Holland. Pilots anxiously awaited the signal to go, their target that fateful night, Belfast.
The advancing bombers were made up of Heinkel 111s, Junkers 88s and Dorniers.  The Junkers alone could carry in excess of a 3,000-pound bomb load. City sirens began wailing shortly after ten thirty that evening.   The bombers approached the city from the north, sweeping in low between the Divis and Black Mountains.  The first wave dropped incendiary flares across the city, lighting up the intended targets.  They were relentlessly followed by wave after wave of bombers. The air was suddenly filled with incendiaries, high explosives and mines.  The shipyards put up a huge smokescreen, attempting to disguise their location. A Royal Naval cruiser, repairing in the yard, joined the defence of the city, her guns blazing into the night.  All night and into the early dawn the bombs rained down. The Germans methodically razed factories, mills, and homes.  Telephone communications were knocked out and gas supplies were cut off as fires erupted.  Leaking gas mains sent towering flames shooting high into the sky. The local fire brigades were soon overwhelmed, with water pressure too weak to stem the blazing inferno.
This night of bombing wasn’t restricted solely to Belfast.  The towns of Londonderry, Newtownards and Bangor were also hit, but none as badly as Belfast.
Northumberland Street was just one of many without air raid shelters. People had to find their own means of protection.   Pop and my two brothers sheltered under our heavy wooden kitchen table. Following civil defense instruction pamphlets, they hung blankets around the table to protect against flying glass and debris.  My three sisters and I huddled in the cramped space under the stairs.  That dreadful night seemed to be unending, explosion after explosion crashing around us, sometimes far away, sometimes right outside our door.  Each explosion was followed by a tremendous shock wave blasting heat and debris in its path.  We heard breaking glass, and the rumble of walls collapsing while houses trembled and shook.  The air was choked with smoke and dust from fires roaring everywhere. The night was filled with a thousand noises we couldn’t identify, buildings slowly caving in, bricks and beams tumbling into the streets.  My terrified sisters were sure we would not survive the night.  I suffered the least. I was afraid of course, but too young to really understand the danger. Our house was a mess, the bomb blasts sent soot out from the stove all over the rooms and the ceiling plaster fell like snow covering us and everything else in a film of grey black dust. Bombs fell on the hapless city all night long. When the last bomber disappeared and the all clear sounded, it was after 5 am. The city had been under attack for more than six hours.
As the first grey streaks of dawn broke over the city, people began crawling from shelters and homes to a scene of devastation. Everyone was caked in filth, dust and debris, some wearing pajamas or nightshirts, blankets draped over their shoulders. They stood exhausted and trembling, children crying at their sides. Bewildered, they gazed in disbelief at the sight confronting them. Whole areas where once had stood familiar houses and buildings were now gone.  All that remained were piles of smoking wreckage. Everywhere buildings blazed, a pall of smoke hung over the city blackening out the sky.   It was difficult to breathe the smoke and dust-laden air.  People tied cloths or rags over their noses in an attempt to avoid the smoke.  The streets were littered with bricks, bits of concrete, shards of glass and wood splinters. We took stock of our house, or what was left of it.  The front door still opened and closed, but no windows had survived.  Remnants of torn curtains fluttered in the breeze; dishes, picture frames and ornaments lay smashed on the floor. We were unable to brew a pot of tea; there was neither gas nor water.  As people assessed their damage, news began to filter through from other parts of the city. A passing air raid warden told of a direct hit on the Percy Street shelter, where some 60 souls had died instantly.  Stories such as this, all similar, all telling the same fateful tales, continued to pour in.
***
Belfast was given little time to recover as more nightly raids continued through the month of April and into the first days of May.
Over 900 people were killed, thousands more injured. The city was a catastrophe; it would take weeks and months to reach a semblance of order. Streets and roads were blocked, businesses closed, and services almost non-existent.  No trams were running, water and gas supplies were cut off.  The few shops that survived attempted to serve a starving population. Hospitals still able to function worked with wonderful efficiency, treating thousands of injuries under the most trying conditions. Mortuaries overflowed with the dead.  Corpses were stacked in the Falls Road public baths and at St George’s Market. Public funerals had to be held, burying up to 150 bodies at a time. The supply of coffins quickly ran out.
***
***
In the early morning hours of May 4th the last and most savage raid set the entire city on fire. More bombs were dropped than in any previous raid.  A Berlin radio announcer flying in one of the planes later stated that it was like looking down into a sea of flames.  Of all British cities bombed during the war, the Belfast raids were the heaviest recorded. Only the city of London, suffered heavier and more sustained attacks.

God Bless and keep reading
Born in Belfast N.Ireland in January 1939.
Author of LILY & ME , THE ROYAL NAVY & ME and CHAPTER XXl ARMAGEDDON
Visit blog and website?? http://www.irishroversbooks.com

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A Little Sunday Humour

Two brooms were hanging in the closet and after a while they got to know each other so well, they decided to get married.

One broom was, of course, the bride broom, the other the groom broom.

The bride broom looked very beautiful in her white dress. The groom broom was handsome and suave in his tuxedo. The wedding was lovely.

After the wedding, at the wedding dinner, the bride-broom leaned over and said to the groom-broom, “I think I am going to have a little whisk broom!”

“IMPOSSIBLE !” said the groom broom.
“WE HAVEN’T EVEN SWEPT TOGETHER!”

Oh for goodness sake… Laugh, or at least groan.
Life’s too short not to enjoy… Even these silly
….little cute…………. And clean jokes!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sounds to me like she’s ……. !
……been …..sweeping around!!!

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My Theme for Remembrance

Here is a very good reason why blood relatives should be encouraged to wear late loved ones medals 0n Remembrance Day
Look at the three WW1 medals the young girl is wearing
Pip, Squeak and Wilfred are the nicknames given to  three WWI campaign medals: the 1914-15 Star; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. This set of 3 medals or a pair (BWM and Victory)  are the most likely medals to be found among family heirlooms. The medals were automatically sent out; soldiers did not need to apply. When the recipient had been killed the medals were sent to the next-of-kin.
The medals’ nicknames come from a popular comic strip of the time from the Daily Mirror newspaper. Pip was a dog, Squeak a penguin and Wilfred was a baby rabbit.
The name, rank, unit and service number of the recipient are impressed on the reverse of the Star and on the rim of the British War Medal and Victory medal. The set pictured here were awarded to Driver E Griffiths of the Royal Field Artillery and come from a private collection.
1914-15 Star : this bronze medal with a red, white and blue watered silk ribbon was awarded to those who served in any theatre of war between 5 August 1914 and 31st December 1915 (other than those who had already qualified for the 1914 Star.)    It is a crowned four-pointed star with crossed swords and a wreath of oak leaves with the royal cipher at the base and a scroll across the centre inscribed 1914-15. Total number of medals awarded = 2,350,000.
British War Medal :  this silver medal with a orange centred ribbon with black, white and royal blue edges was introduced to record the successful conclusion of the War and awarded to anyone who saw service at any time between 1914 and 1918 (later extended to to cover service from 1919-20 in Russia). The obverse shows the uncrowned left- facing profile of King George V and on the reverse St George on horseback trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the Central Powers and a skull and crossbones as an emblem of death. Above the sun has risen in victory. Total number of medals awarded = 6,500,000 in silver + 110,000 in bronze to Chinese, Indian and Maltese labour battalions.
Victory Medal :  This yellow bronze medal  with a double rainbow ribbon was awarded to all who had received the Star medals and most of those who had received the British War Medal. The standing figure of Victory holding a palm branch in her right hand appears on the obverse and on the reverse a laurel wreath contains the inscription THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILIZATION 1914-1919. The extended date reflects the continued fighting in India and Russia and the Peace Treaty at Versailles in June 1919. Total number of medals awarded = approx 6,000,000
we learn something new every day eh!!
God Bless and keep reading
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Me vs Legion

There has been several comments both pro and con about my Legion posts. I think its about time I addressed the root cause. Firstly, one should understand I’m not anti Legion, however I have serious issues with some of the people who presume to be the final authority on all things legion. I first began pursuing the law pertaining to blood relatives wearing late loved ones medals on Remembrance Day in 2014. I wasn’t even aware such a law existed until I read a letter to the editor from a widow asking if she could wear her late husbands medals on her right breast. I almost answered the letter by saying yes of course you can. However, a legion member was quicker than I and told her it was strictly against the law. l was shocked and investigated this law, it turns out the legion was correct. Under section 419 of the criminal code of Canada if a widow/relative wore late loved ones medals (on right breast) he/she could be fined up $5000 or six months in jail. I further discovered we are the only country in the Commonwealth to have such a law. While I will concede it may have been thought necessary in the 1920’s I doubt it is needed today in 2017?Here is an excerpt from a previous blog__

Most other Commonwealth countries have no such law and relatives may wear their late loved ones medals in their memory.  It is a very old tradition that began shortly after the First World War. In cities, towns and villages all across the Empire, they erected cenotaphs and memorials to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Thousands of mothers, widows, sons and daughters came to the unveiling ceremonies .  They wore the medals of their fallen loved ones with a great sadness, pride and in memory on their right breasts. That proud tradition continues all over the World to this day, but not in Canada??????

Apart from this being a long held tradition it is also important to our history, who could tell you about the 1st WW war medals, Pip Squeak and Wilfred today???. But back to my story of attempting to have this law changed. Oh Boy!! did I open up a can of worms, the opposition that crawled out of the woodwork took me totally by surprise. I realize to say crawled out is a bit rude, but then the many comments I received were equally nasty or worse. A letter in the Legion mag stated, if we allowed this, where would it end, first relatives, then best friends, finally any Tom Dick or Harry. Seems to me any Tom Dick or Harry are already wearing fake and or medals they are not entitled too. My first action was to send a resolution to Provincial Command, and as you can guess it was turned down. Having served in both the British and Canadian Navies I understood the chain of command. I re-wrote the resolution addressed to Dominion Command, they would be the next step in the chain, or so I thought. No, once more my resolution was stopped dead at Provincial Command. This time by an associate member who sarcastically told me he held a special committee meeting where my resolution was unanimously turned down. I immediately asked to meet with this special committee (they remained faceless/nameless) and my request was completely ignored. It remains so to this day. Klaus Brodersen an associate was the chairperson of this committee, photo to the right.

You can see he wears a large number of the legion medals and believes he has the authority to ignore my request for a hearing. This is where I became angry and offended, who gave this individual the right to over rule my request for a hearing. I was a legion member for close to thirty years and a veteran with 24 years military service. Its difficult for me to understand such a negative and sarcastic response to a perfectly reasonable request . However, I’m learning, one must consider how difficult it would be for the legion to defend their argument against blood relatives wearing late loved ones medals. Can you imagine a committee bedecked in their fake legion medals telling me how wrong I’m? Is this why they continue to not only ignore me but also the many other disgruntled veterans, do they really have a defense to offer? I think not, and while I understand that there are many excellent associates and many great legion branches doing stellar work within their communities. The problem remains with the few who assume they are the ultimate authority , those at Dominion and Province Commands. Some people have suggested instead of complaining I should be doing something from within the legion to change things. They tell me they see my actions as an attempt to destroy the legion. That could not be further from the truth, I’m trying, as the legion motto states, to bring the legion into the 21st century. However, if myself and many others are continually ignored how can we bring about change. I doubt anyone could argue that the legion is doing just fine as they are? Why are veterans leaving in great numbers, why are newer veterans avoiding the legion’s, why is legion membership plummeting ?  please answer these questions before placing blame on me!

God Bless and keep reading

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The Poppy.

I am not a badge of honour,
I am not a racist smear,
I am not a fashion statement,
To be worn but once a year,
I am not glorification
Of conflict or of war.
I am not a paper ornament
A token,
I am more.
I am a loving memory,
Of a father or a son,
A permanent reminder
Of each and every one.
I’m paper or enamel
I’m old or shining new,
I’m a way of saying thank you,
To every one of you.
I am a simple poppy
A Reminder to you all,
That courage faith and honour,
Will stand where heroes fall.

A wonderful and moving poem. God Bless and keep reading

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Legion Associates? Am I being too Mean???

I think perhaps I have been somewhat tough on our heroic highly decorated pretend veterans? The Legions stalwarts, the dedicated, not too mention the many,  our glorious associate members who try so hard to appear as real veterans. Perhaps I should give them a break! So here goes, Dominion Command could create associates like Eagles and Brodersen as Ambassadors for the legion. We could fund raise and send them on a good will mission to North Korea. I’m quite sure Kim Jong Um would be pleased to see them and would undoubtedly award them a whole series on new medals. Of course the associated would only be allowed to wear them on the right pant leg as per legion rules!! But Just think how much more impressive these guys would look wearing these glittering new pretend medals. Just a Thought?????

But seriously do we really want these fake veterans with their fake medals representing us on Remembrance Day.

 

For a widow to wear her late husbands medals on her right breast is criminal offense according to the Legion. To wear these medals dilutes the value of the medal!! Really!!!If the legion uses the title “Royal” should they not also promote only those medals authorized by the Monarch? Apparently not, they authorize all manner of fancy decorations, both awarded or sold for members to pin on their uniforms and pose as hero’s So, am I being too mean?? I don’t think so

God Bless and keep reading

 

 

 

God Bless and keep reading

 

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Politically Correct Reaches a New Level of Ridiculous

Vicar bans Onward Christian Soldiers hymn from Remembrance Sunday service in case it offends non-Christians
The Reverend Steve Bailey has banned Onward Christian Soldiers from service
Participants march into church to the traditional hymn on Remembrance Sunday
Royal British Legion branch members ‘furious’ and ban to boycott the service

The Reverend Steve Bailey banned the hymn
A vicar has banned the rousing Onward Christian Soldiers hymn from a Remembrance Sunday service ‘in case it offends non-Christians’.
Furious members of a Royal British Legion club are now planning to boycott the service at St Peter’s Church in Oadby, Leicestershire after the Reverend Steve Bailey banned the hymn.
Participants march into the church to the traditional hymn at the end of the service every year.
But RBL members claim this year the vicar vetoed the hymn because people at the service would not necessarily be Christian.
Pete Green, chairman of the Oadby Royal British Legion club, said: ‘It is absolutely unbelievable. I have been going to Remembrance Services in Oadby since 1967, and Onward, Christian Soldiers has been sung ever year apart from one.
‘That was a few years ago, when another vicar tried to ban it. There was uproar then, and there is uproar now.
‘I’m disgusted, to be honest. As a result of the vicar’s decision I’m refusing to enter the church. I’m just going to lay a wreath.
‘We had hoped he might change his mind, but he is adamant it won’t be sung. He has refused point-blank. He says it is because we live in a multi-faith society – but people of all faiths serve in the British military, and have died for this country in wartime.
‘We also have many different religions within our 400 members here, and no-one has ever complained to me about it. The whole thing is quite upsetting really.’

In 2012 another newly appointed vicar at St Peter’s Church decided the hymn should not be sung at the Remembrance Service
Mr Green, 71, added: ‘Every year we lay our wreathes in Oadby, then walk half-a-mile or so to the church and walk in to Onward, Christian Soldiers. It is tradition, and I don’t see why he has to change it.
‘I’m hoping it will be changed back for next year. Sadly I think the church might be half-empty for the service this year – people really do feel that strongly about it.’
Onward Christian Soldiers
Onward, Christian Soldiers is a 19th-century English hymn which was adopted by the Salvation Army as its favourite processional.
The words were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865, and the music composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871.
The theme is taken from references in the New Testament to the Christian being a soldier for Christ.

Ramanlal Anand, a Hindu member of the legion, said he was ‘shocked’ when he heard the song had been banned.
The 77-year-old added: ‘I couldn’t understand it. I don’t see why anyone would have a problem with it at all.’
Ian Thorpe, 61, vice-chairman of the Oadby club, said: ‘I am not aware of a single complaint ever being made about the hymn being sung. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
‘I have been attending that service since I was a child, and can always remember it being sung. Everyone here is very annoyed. It’s political correctness gone mad really.
‘If we went to a mosque we would not expect them to change their service to suit us, we would respect their traditions.
‘Its been sung by the legion since 1921 and its been part of the service since at least 1967.
‘The parade has people from all nationalities and backgrounds, from Sikhs to Hindus, and bikers, and each one of them is proud to stand there and sing this hymn.

Mr Thorpe said the club’s chairman was planning to boycott the service and just lay a wreath, and others in the congregation were considering staying outside and may sing the hymn by themselves
‘We’re a multicultural town and proud of it but this is tradition and to change that out of fear of offending someone is ridiculous.
‘We know the hymn isn’t about soldiers of war, it was written before the wars, but it is symbolic and we should be able to sing it.
‘It is simply to honour the fallen and one family is planning to stand outside the church to sing it anyway, and I think many people will join in defiance.
RELATED ARTICLE
.’

In a statement issued by the Diocese of Leicester, Rev Steve Bailey said: ‘We agreed the change in hymn with the Oadby Royal British Legion who run this major civic event because members of the community from a wide range of cultural backgrounds attend this parade, service and laying of wreaths at the war memorial.

 

Furious members of a Royal British Legion club are planning to boycott the service at St Peter’s Church in Oadby, Leicestershire. Pictured, Ian Thorpe, vice-chairman of the legion club
‘It is because the legion’s committee recognised that people from different faiths served in the Armed Forces that we will be singing All People That On Earth Do Dwell instead of Onwards Christian Soldiers.
Onward Christian Soldiers lyrics
1 Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before! Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; Forward into battle, see his banner go!
Refrain: Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus going on before!
2 At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; On, then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise; Brothers, lift your voices,loud your anthems raise! [Refrain]
3 Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod; We are not divided; all one body we, One in hope and doctrine, one in charity. [Refrain]
4 Onward, then, ye people,join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices in the triumph song; Glory, laud, and honor, unto Christ the King; This thro’ countless ages men and angels sing. [Refrain]

‘This year for the first time Oadby Multicultural Group will be laying a wreath at the War Memorial as well as the one I will lay on behalf of the parish and we do want people of all faiths who are paying respect to those from their own faiths and cultures who served and gave their lives, to feel welcome in the service.
‘I understand that the British Legion branch is now discussing their Social Club members’ complaints with the individuals who raised them.
‘I am happy to discuss the matter with them as well as to provide reassurance that the Remembrance Service in the church remains a Christian service and one in which everyone can feel welcome.’
In 2012 another newly appointed vicar decided the hymn should not be sung at the Remembrance Service.
Mr Thorpe said: ‘There were lots of complaints and it was back the next year.’
The Oadby Royal British Legion branch – which is a separate body from the club – has met with the vicar and agreed to Rev Bailey’s request to not sing the song this year.
But Mr Thorpe claimed the branch may want to review the change for next year, based on the response from the congregation.
The Oadby parade on the afternoon of Sunday, November 12 will involve hundreds of people including standard bearers from various soldiers groups around the county.
Members had already suffered a setback when the annual parade route from St Peter’s Church through the town and back was cut in half.
Police told organisers they cannot spare the officers to marshal the traditional march next month.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5023147/Vicar-bans-hymn-Remembrance-Sunday-service.html#ixzz4woxIChXW
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Where is the Guilt and Shame???

I have been Legion bashing for sometime now on my blog. I’m sure that many associates and indeed perhaps some veterans will have taken offense at my remarks. However, to those offended I offer no apology, it frankly doesn’t concern too much. It is the legion that should be shamed and feeling guilty not the veterans. I realize that in this modern world there are several firms producing fake medals, of course they don’t refer to them fake. They want to sell them, and apparently they are having some success in doing so. I also realize there are organizations that issue their own medals, Knights of Columbus, Masons and other groups.  However, the Royal Canadian far outstrips all these groups when it comes to producing a large variety of fake medals.

There was a time when the awarding of a medal was a very proud and honourable moment. Military, police, firemen and coast guard and other persons serving their country were often recognize for gallantry, bravery and sacrifice. This usually occurred in time of war, conflict and other dangerous situations. Those real awards and Medals truly meant some thing to the recipients and there families.  So it is a very sad time we now live in where some people have a need to decorate themselves in pretend/fake medals. Nevertheless, its probably beyond our control to stop and put an end to it. The Royal Canadian Legion, on the other hand, could very easily put an end to these cheap tin trinkets that are being worn in great numbers by the associate legion members. More importantly is the fact, of all the many organizations and companies issuing such pretend medals the legion is the one organization that should know better. Of all the groups, for the RCL to approve and issue such cheap and disrespectful tat is not just wrong its a national disgrace. To even consider selling them,( just $25 ea) is insulting and getting out of hand.

Its equally difficult to think there is no one at Dominion Command who cannot see this issue as a serious determent to legion membership and indeed to the very survival of this once Proud and Revered Organization. We are the only Royal Legion in the Commonwealth that do this. We are also the only legion that supports a Canadian law (section 419) it states, should a 90 year old widow/blood relative wear her/his late husbands/relatives medal on her right breast, she is subject to arrest, and faces a fine up $5000 or six months in jail. To conclude I will ask this question. “am I the only person who sees how wrong this is??????”

God Bless and keep reading

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