I’ve never been to a large city Remembrance Day event before but today I went into Liverpool seemingly with half the rest of the world as our 3 car Ormskirk Line Merseyrail train was packed out and cosy standing room only by the time we got to Liverpool Central Station.
This was the scene outside St. Georges Hall where the main event was taking place:-
And here’s a shot of hundreds of thousands of poppies being released from atop St. John Beacon:-
I then went on to Liverpool’s famous bombed out church – St. Lukes – at the top of Bold Street to see a performance by local Sefton Borough based community choir – Singing Our Socks Off. They were excellent – www.facebook.com/sosoclubchoir/
They were singing war songs and a large crowd had gathered to hear them:-
I always think of my dear old friend Charles ‘Uncle Albert’ Walker who died last year in his mid-90’s as he was fire watching on top of George Henry Lees Department Store the night the incendiary bomb hit St. Lukes. Charles was a proud former RAF Sergeant who as an aircraft electrician worked on virtually every type of Allied aircraft during WWII.
On my way into Liverpool on the over-crowded Merseyrail train, I got talking to two elderly gents proudly wearing medals. It turned out that they were brothers and one was wearing their Grandfather’s medals from the Boer War and WW1 and the other was wearing their Father’s medals from WWII.
All in all an unforgettable day in Liverpool
The 2nd and 4th photos are also amongst my Flickr shots at:-
This evening Sheila and I took 95 year old Charles (Uncle Albert) Walker out for a meal at the Stanley Arms in Aughton.
Charles looking back on Gibraltar (in the distance) from the cruise ship Victoria a couple of years ago. Charles was based in Gib’ (RAF) during part of the WW2.
Charles was an RAF electrician from 1942 during WW2 and prior to that he was a youngster in the Home Guard in Wallasey on The Wirral. His own family home was damaged by bombing and the family slept in the theatre of New Brighton Tower whilst having meals at his grandmother’s house. This went on for a number of weeks until they found a new property to move into. He worked at George Henry Lees in Liverpool in the early part of the war and was fire watching on the roof of GHL during the Blitz of Liverpool. He actually saw the incendiary bomb hit Liverpool’s famous St Lukes Church at the top of Bold Street whilst fire watching.
Unsurprisingly our conversation touched on the WW2 tonight and Charles made comment about the fact that some people are giving Poles living here a hard time when during WW2 they were fighting with us and for us. He clearly could not understand why memories are so short and was dismayed.
Sadly, today of all days, the BBC’s Andrew Marr show chose to interview French far right Leader Marine Le Pen! Would I not be right in saying that during WW2 it was the far right in France that was betraying the French resistance fighters? Have we forgotten that too?
What is going on in this Country of ours when the far right, which we fought a war against in Charles Walker’s lifetime, is treated to a TV interview on Remembrance Day? And why are we not celebrating our partnership with the French resistance and the Free Poles whom we fought alongside to beat fascism?
I am proud to know Charles Walker as he helped save this Country from fascism but I am not at all proud of how we are forgetting recent history.