I wear my poppy as a Mark of respect for all those that died, the majority of which proudly fought for there country.
Likewise. I thought I'd post this obituary from today's paper. One reads more and more of these, as the WWII generation gets ever older. This is the one that I happened to read today, but it's quite typical, in the sense that it's the story of someone from a completely unremarkable background, who got called upon to do remarkable things, and then never really said much about it afterwards. This is the obituary of Rose Robertson, who has just died at the age of 94, and worked in Nazi occupied France as a member of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). This is just an excerpt, because she also went on to do many good works after the war.
She was born Rose Laimbeer on October 28 1916 and grew up in working-class Deptford, south London, in the 1920s. Her father, Arthur, a merchant seaman, was absent for much of her childhood and her mother, also Rose , treated her with an inexplicable lifelong disdain, which may have accounted for her later sympathy with outsiders and the downcast.
After leaving school, she took a series of secretarial jobs, but her unremarkable existence changed dramatically during the war when she was recruited into SOE and later parachuted into Nazi-occupied France. Sworn to lifelong secrecy, she underwent tough counter-interrogation training. For the rest of her life she was very reluctant to speak about her secret work. On the rare occasions when she did, it was with self-effacing modesty, though it was clear that her memories caused her considerable distress.
According to the limited information gleaned by friends and family members, she acted as a courier, working with members of the French Resistance, including two young gay anti-Nazi fighters. She was horrified to hear their stories of family prejudice and rejection. On one occasion she was stopped by German troops who were fooled by her forged papers and failed to find the miniature pistol she had hidden in her tied-up hair. Rose’s network was eventually betrayed. She got away; others faced the firing squads.
The whole obituary is here.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituar ... rtson.html
I don't imagine she thought that the war in which she fought was a "racket", or that the struggle against the Nazi regime wasn't both just and necessary, likewise the very old and desperately frail WWII veteran who was at the service I went to yesterday, who would have been just one of many at such events. But in future years there will be fewer and fewer. Each to their own, I suppose, but I think they deserve immense respect. And gratitude.