Non-motoring > Remembrance Company Cars
Thread Author: No FM2R Replies: 33

 Remembrance - No FM2R
For the Remembrance Service last week I invited a variety of Ambassadors, all of whom attended.

In amongst the invitees was the German Ambassador. A very pleasant man, if it matters. I deliberately invited him, aware of what I might be causing.

It was well received mostly, especially bu the UK Ambassador and the Bishop, with the exception of one veteran who fought in neither WW but who is most certainly old enough to remember them.

He grudgingly accepted it but warned me against ever inviting the Japanese Ambassador. Next year I will of course invite further Ambassadors from the "other side", including the Japanese guy. And no doubt I'll get crap for it though probably only from a small minority.

I've no immediate decisions to make but I wonder what others here think. Surely it's time to move on, though without minimising or forgetting?
 Remembrance - Bromptonaut
>> I've no immediate decisions to make but I wonder what others here think. Surely it's
>> time to move on, though without minimising or forgetting?

I think that's right, now, in the 21st Century. There was though, I think understandably, a greater reluctance to forgive the Japanese than the Germans based on their treatment of POW.

I was taught by and later worked people who'd been in camps in Burma etc. I would not in any way minimise the physical effects of poor nutrition etc in European theatres, still less the psychological aftermath, the effects of being imprisoned by the Japanese were in another league.

If the veteran you mention was a relative of people imprisoned in the east, and it wasn't just servicemen, then I might cut him some slack.

Otherwise No.

Last edited by: Bromptonaut on Tue 17 Nov 20 at 18:43
 Remembrance - tyrednemotional
My Uncle was a POW in Burma, AIUI from shortly after the fall of Singapore certainly until around VJ day. (The latter I know because coincidentally my father, having been repatriated from Ceylon, was on office duty when his release details came past him, and "bunked off" to let my Aunt know before the official news was likely to hit her some days later - some things, he said, were worth the threat of being charged AWOL).

He would have been around 30 when captured. To his dying day, he said little about his experiences, but wouldn't touch anything that had any Japanese connection that he could see, which rather robbed him of a lot of later-life electronics, and also, as an erstwhile avid motorcycle fan, rather blunted his enthusiasm for that. His approach in this was dogged.

It is difficult for our generation to appreciate just what scars were inflicted (physically, but especially mentally) by the experiences.

I'm all for reconciliation, and would approach any remembrance event in such a spirit, but don't, ever, underestimate the feelings of those who suffered directly, and do allow them their feelings and respect them.

(it was but a few years ago that SWMBO, whilst doing family tree research, unearthed his Japanese POW record. The dates looked all wrong until we realised we had to translate them from the Imperial system. We passed it on to my cousins who hadn't seen it.)

I've posted on here before about finding something out about my father's war record that was a complete surprise to me, and rather brought tears to my eyes. Of those that saw real combat in WW2 (and in other wars of course) there are many who didn't want to relive the memories, or be reminded, once it was over.

www.car4play.com/forum/post/index.htm?t=21242



 Remembrance - zippy
A man I first knew when I was 18 served in WW2. He had to rescue, clean out and put back in to service damaged tanks. He was always close to the front lines and came under fire. He was only a
few years older than me when he served.

Considering what he saw in the battle damaged tanks he basically got what we would probably describe as PTSD today. Of course there was no support or treatment when he was sent back to rural UK after the war.

He became very involved in the local twin towns committee and very vocal in welcoming visitors from German towns. His view was that we needed good and solid friends who knew and understood each other to stop it all kicking off again.

I recommend this film (The Railway Man): www.imdb.com/title/tt2058107/


 Remembrance - sooty123
Is this person bothered because of something personal or just a more 'general' thing?

 Remembrance - No FM2R
>> Is this person bothered because of something personal or just a more 'general' thing?

Nothing direct, I know his military record. But of course I have no clue about his parents / grandparents etc. etc. I expect his Father at least would have served.
 Remembrance - Manatee
There can't be many around now who remember WW1.

I don't feel particularly comfortable having an opinion on this but unless they are still fighting the war then if the Japanese ambassador wants to come then it seems appropriate. Surely friendship, or at least mutual tolerance, is the only way forward for anyone who doesn't want to resume hostilities.

Surely no nation can have undergone such a shift in its attitude to the rest of the world as Japan?
 Remembrance - Zero

>> Surely no nation can have undergone such a shift in its attitude to the rest
>> of the world as Japan?

You do know some in corridors of power in Japan are trying to rewrite history?
 Remembrance - Manatee

>> You do know some in corridors of power in Japan are trying to rewrite history?
>>

No, I didn't. Rewrite, or recreate?
 Remembrance - Zero
Whitewash.
 Remembrance - legacylad
My late uncle served with the Royal Engineers in Burma. He hated all Japanese and everything Japanese until the day he died. Would never have a Japanese car, and his music stereo and TV were Scandinavian....I so hope his B & O didn’t have Japanese components.

He and his late wife had no children, I was their eldest nephew so very close, and although he never told me personal stories of his time in that theatre of war, he had an amazing respect for the West Indians who served alongside him ( and were equally ruthless) and of course the Gurkhas...much of his estate was left to the Burma Star Association.

Jeez I feel so fortunate I didn’t have to live, or die, through that.
 Remembrance - zippy
>> Jeez I feel so fortunate I didn’t have to live, or die, through that.
>>

+1

Since the '50s we have been so very lucky in this part of the world.

Other parts of the world have not been so lucky, including countries on our doorstep (former Yugoslavia).
 Remembrance - No FM2R
>>Whitewash

As does every single country on the planet, including the UK. Theirs is just more recent.

Still wrong though, I agree.
Last edited by: No FM2R on Tue 17 Nov 20 at 21:53
 Remembrance - No FM2R
As I think I realise that of course I am there to support those who have served, not tell them how to think or feel. But I do strongly feel it is time to move on.

I was and am comfortable with my decision to invite Germany. I am not quite so confident about inviting Japan because of the strength of feeling in some areas, perhaps a step too far or too soon.

I need to consider.

 Remembrance - R.P.
Rarely impressed by Monarchy, if it came to a vote, I would probably vote for a republic, however I was impressed that Charles had gone to the German remembrance service, which in its simplicity was very impressive. I may have blinked a bit at the rendition of Ode to Joy. The war ended 75 years ago.
Last edited by: R.P. on Tue 17 Nov 20 at 22:27
 Remembrance - Terry
Remembrance day has been observed since the end of the first world war. The poppy symbol is a reference to the wildflowers in the fields in which so many died on both sides.

There is now almost no direct personal connection with WW1 - combatants are all gone, children of combatants would likely now be 80-90+. In 20 years time memories of WW2 will go the same way - the few surviving veterans are now aged 85+.

There is a place for preserving the memory of those brave in our defence in all wars. But looking to the future it would be far better to use the opportunity to remember the inhumanity that war brings to all concerned.

Germany and Japan are very different places 80 years on. I can understand why some with more personal memories may have very strong feelings. But it is more important to ensure those below the age of 50 are aware of their shared history in the hope that they may avoid the same stupidity in the future.

S0o invite the Japs!!
 Remembrance - henry k
>There is now almost no direct personal connection with WW1
>>- combatants are all gone, children of combatants would likely now be 80-90+

I am not yet quite in that age range and my father , born in the 1890s, was a serving soldier in WW1.
Due to genuine health reasons he remained in the UK. He manned an ARP post during WW2
I had his three official aircraft silhouette spotting books to study.

My very young uncle was lost when his naval ship was sunk by a U boat.
( Due to a "mis- identification or something, very shortly after an italian craft sank the U boat)
My wifes uncle was a sapper in North Africa etc.
All other male relatives of serving age were in reserved occupations.
I have no stories re WW1 or WW2.
 Remembrance - zippy
Mrs Z remembers her grandad very well. He joined the Black Watch in WW1, well underage and the b******s took him.

I have seen pictures. There was nothing of him, a poor son of a fisherman from Elgin (Lossimouth).

He was very badly injured and was hidden from the Germans by a convent.

His job after the war was that of a patissier,, he worked in some of the most prestigious London hotels and with staff of numerous different nationalities.

 Remembrance - Zero
My Great Grandfather, Pvt East Surrey regiment, was killed at the second battle of Ypres -April 23 1915, he was killed by a shell as the British and Canadians attempted to plug the gap in the lines caused by the first use of gas against the French the previous day. His name is on the Menem gate, and I have a copy of the officers report for that day.

I went to Ypres on the 100th anniversary of his death, to find his plaque, and to see the last post ceremony. www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOXN8rC3lxs

It was as it happened a pretty good day out, Eurotunnel over, hour or so drive, easy parking in town, mooch about, last post thing, weather was good, so an early dinner in the main square, and an easy drive home.

 Remembrance - Zero

>> It was as it happened a pretty good day out, Eurotunnel over, hour or so
>> drive, easy parking in town, mooch about, last post thing, weather was good, so an
>> early dinner in the main square, and an easy drive home.

And I meant to add, before puppy jumped into my lap, as far as I am concerned that is the beginning and end of my remembrance. It was a particular unique date, I was the generation around on that date, it was an interesting and enjoyable thing to do, and in another 100 years no-one will have any connection or care. Such is life.
 Remembrance - Duncan
>> I have no stories re WW1 or WW2.

I have plenty of stories about WW2.

What would you like? I started school in September 1940.
 Remembrance - Zero
>> >> I have no stories re WW1 or WW2.
>>
>> I have plenty of stories about WW2.
>>
>> What would you like? I started school in September 1940.

You were born about the same age as my mother then. Born in the east end in 1935, evacuated to the country when war was declared, came back to the east end, started school just about the same time the blitz commenced.
 Remembrance - sooty123
One of my grandparents was originally conscripted into a civilian job then across to the army. Spent nearly all of the rest of the war in the Med I believe. Said pretty much nothing about it his whole life. After he died we found a few records with what regiment he was in and some medals. I keep meaning to get them mounted but never get round to it.
Other grandad was in a reserved occupation. A great uncle was in the army, spent 2 years at college then the rest of the war as an instructor in the UK. No idea about the rest.

Similarly no idea about relatives in ww1, I don't know who they are.
 Remembrance - Zero

>> Said pretty much nothing about it his whole life. After he died we found a
>> few records with what regiment he was in and some medals. I keep meaning to
>> get them mounted but never get round to it.

We have MRs Z's fathers medals mounted

Africa Star, he joined the 8th Army as a tank driver, arrived in North Africa just after the defeat of Rommel so not a desert rat, Italian Star, landed in Sicily, fought up the backbone of Italy was in the battles of Monte Casino, The 1939 - 45 star, and the War medal.

The odd one is the France and Germany star, can only assume this was because he must have ended up in Austria or after Monte Casino he was shipped out of the 8th Army into XXX corp for the push into Germany from the west.

Might do a bit of research into his army record.
 Remembrance - smokie
I'm pretty sure Ancestry.com do a free month membership and have quite extensive military records. Though I was a bit teed off cos I did a paid sub to them for my daughter to do some research during her furlough period and their core stuff is really impressive but there were a few bits which it alerted us to which required additional subs (external sites - so not unreasonable but it could have got very expensive!!)

It did allow us to flesh out knowledge that my Dad's dad was a submariner in the first World War and we found his service record and list of medals.
Last edited by: smokie on Wed 18 Nov 20 at 09:40
 Remembrance - sooty123
I think they only do ww1 and earlier, anything post 1920 (I think) you have to write to the MoD.
 Remembrance - smokie
Ah yes, that makes sense. Oddly, I have no proper knowledge of what my Dad did during WWII. He's long gone, as is my mum and all the others of their generation. He was variously an engineer or designer, maybe a protected occupation or whatever, but it was one of many things he never talked about. I don't think there was any "suspicious" reason for that, he was just very private.
 Remembrance - No FM2R
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/second-world-war/
 Remembrance - Zero
>> I think they only do ww1 and earlier, anything post 1920 (I think) you have
>> to write to the MoD.

As do the National Archives, Got my great Grandfathers military record from there, but as you say it all become MOD from the 20's. I got the copy of the OIC's report from the East Surrey Regiment museum, which was in Clandon House, fortunately it was moved to Surrey Museum before Clandon House burned down.
 Remembrance - Fullchat
My Grandfather joined the Duke of Wellingtons and served with Lawrence of Arabia. He is mentioned in the Nominal Roll of the Hejaz Armoured Car Company in TE Lawrence's book Seven Pillars of Wisdom which I really must read.
A few artifacts and photographs have emerged from family and been donated to the Imperial War Museum.
 Remembrance - Netsur
I have no direct connection to either war but have friends whose parents were Holocaust survivors. In a similar vein to the thread many would never buy a German product (and a friend with no connection to the Holocaust still refuses to buy a German branded car - he drives a Skoda Superb).

However, a large proportion of the survivors and their families do buy German products, fly on German airlines and understand that there has been acknowledgment of the past and amends made to avoid such matters in the future (we hope).

The Japanese situation is subtely different but assuming Japan remains a nation which recognises its past (and we know that may change) then I see no reason not to invite the Ambassador next year.
 Remembrance - No FM2R
>>assuming Japan remains a nation which recognises its past......

An excellent point and standard. That helps a lot.
 Remembrance - Duncan
>> I think they only do ww1 and earlier, anything post 1920 (I think) you have
>> to write to the MoD.

I have had the forms sitting on my desk for ages. I am curious to see what the army had to say about me. Not sufficiently curious to actually fill it in and send it up to Glasgow!

It's the Ministry of Defence, Subject Access Request (SAR) Form, MoD Form 1694. For the army they are sent to Brown Street, Glasgow.
 Remembrance - sooty123
I don't think it'll be anything earth shattering. From people that have done it, it's mainly dates, places etc.
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