My late Father spent most of the Second World War in the Orkney Isles. Where his experience could be summed up by a soldier at the time
This bloody town's a bloody cuss
No bloody trains, no bloody bus
And no one thinks of bloody us
In bloody Orkney.
The bloody folk are bloody mad
The bloody roads are bloody bad
Good night the bright is bloody sad
In bloody Orkney.
However he was to take part in D-Day, where he lasted only three days before being seriously injured by shrapnel from a mine. and after major surgery he was given a plate in his head which was to be part of him until the end.
This injury affected him all his life, He suffered fro Blackouts and was a contribution to his death nearly 10 years ago.
He hardly ever talked about his experience and it was only later in life that he applied for his War Medals for which he received three and when I see the be-medaled members of the Royal Family I wonder.
He also received an inadequate war pension which ironically was far less than if he been a member of the German armed forces.
I doubt very much that he would have approved of Armed Forces day, he rarely wore a red poppy on Armistice Day and I think that he would have wondered why another day should be set aside.
I think I know! Despite the increased politicisation of Remembrance Sunday where it appears for weeks before it is compulsory to wear red poppy on the BBC. The last government needed such a day in order to justify their involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq and the coalition will follow suite.
What would the BBC reaction to someone who insisted on wearing a White Poppy (which you can get from the Peace Pledge Union) here. Or how would all the Media react to MP or Am wearing the White Poppy in the Commons or Assembly chamber?
Incidentally I stopped wearing the White Poppy believing that we should have separate day for remembering all victims of war: But now because of Armed Forces Day I will reconsider my position.
It is thought that 1968 is only year since the Second World War when no British soldier was killed in action.
I believe that far too many of our armed Forces have died because successive governments have involved themselves in conflicts in order to maintain the illusion that Britain is still a Major power.
We are being spun in order that concern for the safety for soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq manifest as support for government policy.
There also those in the Military complex of senior armed forces personnel and contractors who have a vested in interest in a large military force.
If you wish to take part in today’s events, do so with Pride, but remember many of us who disapprove of Armed Forces Day also have the interest of the ordinary Soldier. Sailor, and Airmen at heart.