pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That year turned into five! Now he is home and training to become a physics teacher. This is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Royal Marines and My Calendar Boys - July

I was going to do a post on Remembrance Day.  We always observe it, following in the footsteps of my late father, who represented the Merchant Navy Association each year.

My husband George is an ex-Royal Marine and he, along with a wonderful elder of the village, Terry, attend the Louth ceremony annually.  

We live in a tiny village, on the edge of nowhere - or so some people like to think.  When we moved in we got to know the villagers and one of the key village elders is Terry.  Ex-Royal Marine, survivor of three years as a prisoner of war during the Korean War.

Terry is a truly charming, quiet, fascinating man.  He never talks about his experiences to anyone other than George, and then not very much, or very often.  He is kind, gentle, and about  83 years of age.  A much loved man, hugely respected in our village and the surrounding area.

He had been the sole representative for the Royal Marines locally for many years, until we arrived.  He was delighted to find that George had also served as a Marine and they struck up an enduring friendship.

Each November they polish their shoes, brush their coats, don their medals and their green berets and march to show their respect.  I always have a lump in my throat when I see the pair of them.

Today Terry presented the wreath for the Royal Marines and George had to present one on behalf of the Royal Navy.

I wanted to take a photograph for this post.  I was astounded that what has been a small memorial service for so long has grown and grown and there were so many people attending today that it was impossible for me to get close enough to get that photograph.  Sorry.

Isn't it marvellous that so many people turned out on a damp November day - a good proportion of them were relatively young, some with young children, to show respect and honour the fallen.  

On an entirely different, much more light hearted  matter...

I have just received confirmation that three of my boys have made it as calendar boys for July!  

George, Harry, and Toby walking through 'our' barley field just before harvest.  They will feature in the local village charity calendar.


  1. Hello John, I've just had a look, and yes we have! I thoroughly enjoyed your post, if you know what I mean. So many lost lives, so many sad stories.

    Mabel is looking splendid; she is obviously developing a strong and loving bond with you.


  2. Lovely post. We took our 4 year old to the Carloway Remembrance service today - lots of children there too. Looking at the memorial later, i was struck how many from the area lost their lives in Korea, and then i read your post. Also, here was the double blow of the Iolaire...

  3. I had to go an look up the Iolaire. So, just in case anyone else is interested: she hit 'The Beasts of Holm' 2.30am, New Year's Day, just a mile from Stornoway harbour. At least 205 lives lost. Only 75 survivors.

    What a tragedy that was, such a huge loss of life and so close to safety and what an amazingly brave man John F MacLeod was, to swim ashore with a line and save 40 people. How terrible for the women-folk who found their loved ones bodies washed ashore.

    As a naval historian my father would have been able to give me the details instantly. No doubt he would have told us about it during one of our many trips in and out of Stornoway harbour but it fell on deaf ears.

    I do wish I had paid more attention to these, and many other, things when I was younger.

  4. Oops. Careless of me, the date for the Iolaire should read 2.30am New Year's Day 1919.

  5. I thought it was obligatory to be NAKED to appear in modern calendars!

  6. Cro: Toby was the only one to comply, luckily!

  7. Hello dear friend....Look at George's jacket. Is that a red "Buddy Poppy"? Remember the post I wrote about the Buddy Poppy? Tags to my post are on the right side of my page. Just click on buddy poppy and you can see the post.


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