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Lest We Forget …

It was certainly a powerful symbol of remembrance.

This weekend saw commemorations to recognise the centenary of the ending of the First World War.

On Friday evening we attended  “Beyond The Deepening Shadow” at The Tower of London and heard the Last Post played by the lone bugler and saw the lanterns lit in memory of those who gave their lives. A moving and fitting tribute to the fallen and one that will have evoked many memories and thoughts within all generations. It was certainly a powerful symbol of remembrance.

On Sunday the country fell silent for two minutes at 11am as millions of people around the world marked those 100 years since the end of World War 1. Around the country many people paid respect in their own way. We at Banana Crumble attended a gathering at High Beach in Epping Forest, Essex. This is a tradition dating back 99 years, that first Remembrance Day in 1919 when my grandfather attended in memory of his brother who had died at the Somme. On Sunday two of the group were attending for their 70th consecutive year, one of which was my own father Henry Austin. With our Chief Banana, Matt in attendance, it meant that we had three generations of our family at the same event for something that the fourth generation (my grandfather) had started 99 years ago! Henry Austin was the subject of our Banana Chat last week. To read his interview please click here.

I hope that this will continue for generations to come ensuring that we do not indeed forget the incredible feats of bravery carried out during both World Wars.

Lest We Forget – a phrase that encapsulates our desire to remember the past tragedy and sacrifices made by so many young men. The phrase itself originates from a Victorian poem, entitled Recessional, written by Rudyard Kipling in the 19th century.

The full poem:

God of our fathers, known of old, 
Lord of our far-flung battle line, 
Beneath whose awful hand we hold 
Dominion over palm and pine 
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, 
Lest we forgetlest we forget! 

The tumult and the shouting dies; 
The Captains and the Kings depart: 
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice, 
An humble and a contrite heart. 
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, 
Lest we forgetlest we forget! 

Far-called our navies melt away; 
On dune and headland sinks the fire: 
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday 
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre! 
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet, 
Lest we forgetlest we forget! 

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose 
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe, 
Such boastings as the Gentiles use, 
Or lesser breeds without the Law 
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, 
Lest we forgetlest we forget! 

For heathen heart that puts her trust 
In reeking tube and iron shard, 
All valiant dust that builds on dust, 
And guarding calls not Thee to guard, 
For frantic boast and foolish word 
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!

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