My grandfather, having signed up with the Army in August 1914, was invalided out from France just two months later. Back in England he went to serve and teach at the Military College of Science where he was based until 1935. He later served with the Territorial Army, rose to the rank of Colonel and was awarded the Territorial Decoration and OBE.
If my grandfather hadn’t been injured in Ypres, he might have become one of the many soldiers whose memory is symbolised in red poppies and white stones. And I might not have existed.
The tragic consequences of conflict, disease, accident or disaster, impact us as we face the often unexpected and sobering reality of human mortality. All of us face the personal loss of loved ones and, at some point, our own demise. Today you and I are alive! Let’s be thankful for the gift of each new day of life and opportunity and pledge to:
“Leave no tender word unsaid; love while life shall last. The mill will never turn with the water that has passed. And the proverb haunts my mind, like a spell that’s cast: the mill will never turn with the water that has passed. Power, intellect, and strength, may not, cannot last; the mill will never turn with the water that has passed. Take this lesson to your heart; take, oh hold it fast! The mill will never turn with the water that has passed.”