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willowsend
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PostSubject: Poppy Appeal   Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:27 pm

[size=150:343kxdmz]Poppy Appeal launch

By Cheryl Mullin
Oct 24 2012

The Military Wives Choir perform at the launch in Trafalgar Square

SINGERS Alesha Dixon and Pixie Lott spoke of the “absolute honour” after performing at the launch of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

The pair, who are the faces of the Poppy Appeal 2012, were cheered by crowds in Trafalgar Square in London as they headlined a free concert to launch the Legion’s annual fundraising drive.

“It is such an honour to be performing here in Trafalgar Square,” Lott told the crowds before performing a series of hits including Mama Do and It’s All About Tonight.

“Thank you for coming down for such a great cause as the Poppy Appeal.
“It is a privilege to be here,” she added.

Dixon, a Britain’s Got Talent judge, said it was an “absolute honour” to perform at the launch event. She joked with the crowds as she performed a series of hits including The Boy Does Nothing and Breathe Slow.

“If it gets really rock ’n roll feel free to jump in the fountains because that always works,” she quipped.

The concert featured military bands The Corps of Drums of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, the 1st Battalion Irish Guards and the trumpeters from the Band of the Grenadier Guards.

Earlier in the day Susan Boyle officially launched this year’s Scottish Poppy Appeal.

Boyle, dressed for the occasion in a long red coat and matching hat, took to the steps outside Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to declare the appeal open.

She said she is “very proud” to help because her father Patrick served in the Second World War

Read More [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ... z2AF5OP0mX

It would be fitting to open a topic on the above subject because I would like to think that many of us have some happy stories and some of us some sad stories to tell, it will also be a test of how good our memories are, so I will start the ball rolling

I was born in Sevenoaks ,Kent in 1939. My Dad was called up for active service and joined the Royal Kent Buffs and was stationed with the Intelligence Corp in Belgium so I never saw him for the first year of my life
I have vivid memories of many things that happened in my first five years, but the one that sticks in my mind the most was when I was three years old and the bombs were dropping out of the sky in concentrated area's between the Channel and London, Sevenoaks was right in the firing line. One night in July 1942 we were warned to stay in doors and if we had an anderson shelter (I think that is what they were called) to get in it, we hadn't got one so my Mum and I sheltered under the dining room table with heavy blankets draped around the sides. At 2.20am we heard a lot of activity in the air and air raid sirens going to warn us of an attack. I think they were called doodle-bugs in the air, but I am not sure. At 2.57am there was the most frightening and deafening noise with all our windows and doors being blown in and our house shaking as if it was going to fall into a heap of rubble. My Mum was holding me tight and I remembering her saying, I wish Daddy was here now we need him, what will we do. By 5.00am it was getting light so my Mum and I (still in our dressing gowns) walked 100yds up the road and found a house that was completely demolished to the ground and the people living there had lost their lives and one of those was my 4 year old friend Robert. The fire brigade were still there as the remains were still smouldering. All the houses within a 100 yard radius had windows and doors blown in. As a result of the devastation we could not go back to our house so we were evacuated to Evercreech in Somerset
That's a story for another day
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silky4015
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PostSubject: Re: Poppy Appeal   Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:02 pm

My reason for purchasing a poppy is not only that I served 25 years in the army from 1956 to 1981, but that I also lost a few friends in those years and even after. The following is about my Father who served in The Great War as it was known (WW1) and is the opening to my book.

John

I dedicate this book to my father, and all those that have fought or served for this great country of ours.

The following is a copy of my father’s mention in the London Gazette.

LONDON GAZETTE SUPPLEMENT, 4TH MARCH 1918.

240730 C.S.M. Martin Silkstone, W. Yorks. B. (Leeds).

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during heavy fighting on two occasions, when every officer in his company became a casualty. Observing that some high ground 150 yards away entirely dominated him, he at once took men to occupy it. Though met by much rifle fire he captured the position and from it was able to direct fire on the advancing enemy columns. Eventually outflanked, with all his N.C.Os, Lewis-gun teams and casualties, he withdrew the survivors to Battalion H.Q., where he re-organised for a new advance, which was at once commenced.

THE FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF MY FATHER’S MILITARY CAREER.

SILKSTONE, Martin (D.C.M., M.M.), Company Sergeant Major, 1st West Yorks Regiment.
Mobilised in August 1914, he was immediately drafted to the Western Front, where he took part in the fighting at Mons. He also fought in the Battle of Ypres and the Somme plus many other important engagements, and was wounded in action a total of five times.
He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for great gallantry and devotion to duty, displayed in taking entire charge of his Company when all his officers were killed, and was granted the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery in the Field. He also holds the Mons Star, General Service and Victory Medals, and was discharged in April 1920.

DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL

Established in 1854, the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) is Britain’s oldest award for gallantry and second only to the Victoria Cross.
It was awarded to enlisted personnel, non-commissioned officers and warrant officers of any nation, in any branch of the service, for distinguished conduct in battle.

Military Medal (MM)

Established on the 25th March 1916, the Military Medal (MM) was awarded for individual or associated acts of bravery on the field of battle.
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willowsend
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PostSubject: Re: Poppy Appeal   Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:14 pm

:Thank you:for your that Silky
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PostSubject: Re: Poppy Appeal   Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:24 pm

Life as a four year old living in Yorkshire seemed normal. For instance checking the front step to see if Mum and I were lucky enough to have been left dried eggs by the milkman,a rare luxury. Life was a routine until bedtime when the air- raid warning went off I would be snatched up wrapped in my red dressing gown and rushed off to the shelter Dad had gone to war and Mum had just given birth to my brother.

One night the siren went off as the German bombers passed over us to bomb Sheffield My Mum wrapped me in my dressing gown and went to the shelter. This was a corrugated steel construction which was placed over an excavation in the ground with an entrance door and steps leading down to seats on either side.Taking her seat she proceeded to chat to the occupants who were our neighbors until one woman asked her where was her new baby. Whereby Mum shrieked, dumped me on the seat and fled red faced. She never lived that down.

Dad I learned went off to a place called India and thence to Burma and we were a one parent family.

Mum had two sons to bring up on little money and rationing. Memories of that era are fragmented but some things stick in the mind. The day the Telegraph Boy knocked on our door and Mum cried. Many people in the street came to comfort her thinking it to be the dreaded news that Dad was a casualty of war. He was alive but seriously ill with pneumonia and in hospital. He later said it he was given the last rites but a new drug called penicillin was administered and that literally saved his life.

The war in Europe ended and one by one the welcome home flags that neighbors had hung out for the return of their loved ones were taken in. Finally the only house in the entire street still flying the union jack with the welcome home message in its center was ours. I remember asking my Mum where was my Dad and the answer stating he had farther to come. The days, weeks and months dragged by and the return of Dad became a distant hope and the flag as much part of the house as the front door. One day Mum called me in gave me money and told me to visit the Barbers Shop for the dreaded haircut. I hated this sitting on a bench with grown ups watching the barber perform. :Laugh:ing at things I didn’t understand and knowing that I would soon be in the chair center of attention. At last the ordeal was over and I left the shop and set off for home. Walking down the road I saw in the distance two ladies I knew talking to a man in uniform wearing a very impressive hat. He carried on walking and the two ladies continued in my direction. Drawing level they stopped and one said to me. “Harry, that soldier is your Daddy”.
I looked down the road and without speaking a word set off at a run. I quickly caught up and slowed down taking in the sight of this tall sunburned soldier wearing what I learned later was a bush hat that sported a peacock feather. On his shoulder was slung a canvas bag with his name on it. A leather suit case was held in the other hand. I looked up at him and he gave me a broad grin and a big wink. I said “ Hello Dad.”
My Dad had arrived home.
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PostSubject: Re: Poppy Appeal   Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:36 pm

Well done Guys :Great:it is so good to read true stories Thanks for sharing. Excellent post Willow

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PostSubject: Re: Poppy Appeal   Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:09 pm

Dad being in the WW1 Was now to old at 52 to be called up, plus his war wounds meant he wasn’t fully fit.

However being the canny man that he was, he went out of town (Bolton Lancashire) and into the country with the works van and came back with ten hens. (If you had more than two hens you had to notify the Ministry of food so that the extra eggs could be taken away and sold.) Dad and four of his allotment mates had two each and they would take it in turn to guard the hens overnight;
so that no one would pinch the eggs of take the hens.

At the beginning of 1940 he got a cockerel and it wasn’t long before a couple of the hens were sitting on ten eggs each.

By the time I was four in 1943 nearly everyone on the allotment had two hens and they would give my dad two eggs a week. These extra eggs he gave to the local butcher and got the best cuts of meat in return. A lot of this type of bartering went on across the allotment with people swapping different types of vegetables.

One of the jobs I had to do was to sit on my father’s shoulders and collect the elderberries of the tree for making wine :Drink:and some were used by mother why would make apple and elderberry pies.

John
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