As Remembrance Day comes around this year there are numerous arts projects and manifestations of remembrance commemorating 100 years since World War One and we seem to have been doing these (rightly so) for “the duration”.
I have a small offering here in the commissioned poem “Sister of Three of the Sixty-Nine” I wrote for Jane Kirk’s collection ‘Tattingstone Remembers The Fallen of World War One’, published just this week.
Using the archive materials I have with regard to maternal great uncles from Tattingstone who served in World War One along with and well trodden story of my Nana who has been my creative muse for many years, I wrote a poem from the home front as if she were talking about the trigger for her mental state. I think my nana as a young girl was traumatised by the departure of three brothers to the war who appeared to her in visions as is reported in her medical notes.
My great uncles didn’t exactly “fall”, they were three of the returning 69 men who came home to Tattingstone, their lives never to be the same again. I think Nana’s subsequent life in the care of the authorities was triggered by the terrifying events of the early 20th century. I don’t think we will ever fully know and understand just how much effect and consequence that war has had on our ancestors and on us personally in terms of world peace. No wonder we remember…yet it seems we find it difficult to change our patterns of behaviour. In remembering would we still rather forget that war’s horrendous consequences we are living with today?
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