Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Another fighting story...


Tarfers (Old Tarf...), Iders (Iders) and a few more, are all getting understandably energised about the failure of our miserable politicians' "work" in running the war in Afghanistan.

When I was a kid, we'd only just finished WW2 a few years before, and my Dad was still on reserve. When Suez cropped up, he told me once, while we were in the garden, that he might have to go and fight the enemy again. This made me look down at the ground a bit, and hope that he was wrong...

The pic shows Mum and Dad working on the same flower bed where he told me how he'd possibly be gone tomorrow - his bag was already packed!

So, to complete the nostalgia, I reckon that a visit to another song about yet another war just forty years before this worrying time in my little life, is beautifully described by Mike Harding here and still makes me think a bit...

(Listen to the song too - it's powerful...)

14 comments:

Philipa said...

Great photo, Scrobs. Powerful post.

The song made me think about something. I think some writer said that Britain was never the same after WW1. Another writer laments the loss of deference. I'm sure it was clear before WW1 that many hooray henries who had a career in the military weren't that good and made poor decisions that undeservedly slaughtered many. But WW1 really brought it home when the men of entire villages were lost. Men with PTSD were shot for deserting when they simply were not fit to return to the front. So many died. It was a dreadful bloody war and it left a mark. People fought again. But there had been started a quiet resistance to war I think. An end to deference. A reluctance to go uncomplaining and unquestioning to ones death. War was no longer romantic, it was horrible. It always was but the folk at home couldn't really appreciate the Boer war, "The Last of the Gentleman's Wars". They could appreciate being bombed in their own home. They could understand fighting that.

I don't really understand what we are doing in Afghanistan. And the end to deference I mentioned doesn't mean that soldiers are not willing to do what they signed up for - they are professional soldiers. But I think we have an elite in Westminster sending men to their deaths and no deference among the population to be happy about it.

If only we had an effective opposition offering a real alternative. But we have a PR man.

(wv = gawsh!)

lilith said...

What a darling photograph Scrobs. Did they use the Anderson shelter as a garden shed? It seems to be supporting canes too :-) I will come back and listen to the song as it's a bit early x

The Lakelander said...

Slightly off topic but...

Looking at the mound in front of your parents...had they just buried someone when they had this photo taken?

electro-kevin said...

Some perspective here.

GWR lost 2,500 men in WW1.

That's just one rail company.

Scrobs... said...

Pips, an educated man I know still wonders why there wasn't a revolution in the UK after WW1.

Scrobs... said...

Lils, it was Dad's pride and joy - not enough timber around to build a wooden one! He'd moved it from the house we left when he built the one (just off), the pic.

I was in bed with soemthing or other when it was eventually demolished, so my sister helped him...Bless...

The song is pretty moving; hope you can get it going, because the Youtube version is not the same.

Scrobs... said...

Good point Lakes...

I think it was some earth left over from the septic tank that was there - in fact, whoever took the pic was standing on the slab (not in the tank you understand...).

I know one of our dogs is buried there now, but that came later...

Scrobs... said...

Elecs, that is a huge number of people - unimaginable in fact.

I hope the rail co put up suitable memorials?

Thud said...

I was always a fan of Hardings bombers moon as nobody else involved in music has ever seen fit to touch upon our struggles.

rvi said...

Odd how only folk from north of Watford seem to come up with these sorts of songs. Alan Price used to do quite a good line in them too in his heyday.

Off topic: What did you used to do with all the spare runner beans your dad grew??

Scrobs... said...

Thudders - I wasn't a total fan of MH, but this song really hit a spot, and I still like it.

Have you ever heard 'Soaring' by Avian? It was one of those songs you heard once and never seemed to forget, and when I got onto Itunes, well, there it was!

Not bad for quite an old track now.

Scrobs... said...

Reevers, It's always been different hasn't it. I'm never sure why either, except that 'Northern Clubs' were synonymous with comedians like MH, and 'Southern Clubs' were synonymous with David Frost types, and never the twain ever met...

Scrobs... said...

Reevers, re: the beans then - I hated them as a kid!

Now, Mrs S demands that we have loads of 'em, and we've just taken a lorry-road round to some friends too...

I really can't remember whether Dad ever grew them in that garden, he must have done but I'll have to ask my Sister...

That trellis in the pic, BTW, was put up for climbing roses to hide the shed. It lasted for years!

Blue Eyes said...

an educated man I know still wonders why there wasn't a revolution in the UK after WW1

Britain waited until 1945 for its revolution and we are still worse off for it. I like to compare Britain with similar countries which did not go for socialism after 1945. Canada and Australia spring to mind.