“100 years ago, the First World War ended, and a new world began. The example and experience of those who lived through it shaped the world we live in today. In 2018 The Royal British Legion is leading the nation in saying Thank You to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world.” – The Royal British Legion
2018 marks 100 years since the end of the First World War. Referred to by many as the bloodiest conflict in history, the war resulted in around 17 million casualties among civilians and soldiers.
These losses should not be looked upon as mere statistics; they were brothers, fathers, sons, husbands, uncles, mothers, sisters, daughters, friends. From soldiers and nurses, to the people going about their everyday lives only to find them cut short by air raids.
I remember learning about the First World War in school and speaking about it to my grandma. I can vividly still see her face turn pale as she remembered the harrowing sounds of the air raid sirens.
She was only five years old when war was declared and having a five-year-old daughter myself, I cannot comprehend the fear she must have felt being woken from sleep to the ear-piercing sound of the sirens and stumbling outside to a tin shelter.
She remembered how things changed suddenly, neighbours and friends gone and never coming home, and her Auntie Daisy leaving to work the fields in Yorkshire as a Land Girl. I knew my great Auntie Daisy, she was quite a fierce lady, and as a child she made me a little nervous. She was loud, fun and very, very chatty.
I asked her about her days as a Land Girl and she recalled the time fondly with a smile in memory of her fellow Land Girls, but never forgetting to mention that it was very hard work!
My father still refuses to watch any kind of animal-related war story such as Warhorse, as his uncle was killed in France along with the horses he was caring for and preparing for battle. To this day my dad finds reliving them memories too emotional.
I’m sure many of you have knowledge of and connections to people who lost their lives fighting in this ‘war to end all wars’.
I wanted to pull this art together as a small act of remembrance and consideration; taking time to say thank you to those who fought for our country and lost their lives. So, thank you to those who made such great sacrifices, not just abroad but at home.
To the soldiers and the wardens, the housewives, doctors and nurses, the telegram peddlers and the spies, the pilots and the firefighters, the children who lost parents, the commonwealth fighters and all those who lived through this terrible time and shaped the way our lives are today.
You have my sincerest gratitude.
This is coordinated with the Royal British Legion who are running a #ThankYou100 campaign.
To the Hallmarkers who were involved in this, Thank You.
Caroline Cattrell, Drew Dewhirst, Neil Shoesmith, Chris Taylor, Mark Head & Megan Irlam.