Why do we continue to write so much about ww2, so many years after the event ?

Discussion in 'Veteran Accounts.' started by Ron Goldstein, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Why do the veterans on this site continue to write so much about ww2, so many years after the event ?

    I offer the usual caveat, I can only speak for myself, but what started me thinking was a delightful posting yesterday by Shiny9th http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/34823-when-you-go-home/#entry564045 (Comment #4) in which she quoted that amazingly discerning poem by the 12th century Monk Wace;

    "All things to nothingness descend,
    Grow old and die and meet their end;
    Man dies, iron rusts, wood goes decayed,
    Towers fall, wall crumble, roses fade...
    Nor long shall any name resound
    Beyond the grave, unless't be found
    In some clerk's book; it is the pen
    That gives immortality to men"

    I unashamedly belong to the school of thought that says a person is not truly "dead and gone" as long as their name continues to be mentioned in talk or, more importantly, written in print, as Wace so knowingly describes.

    So there you have it......... I write a lot in order to
    a. Tell it like it was, while I can still remember it and (more selfishly)
    b. To get a longer span of after-life when I am no longer around to keep you chaps in order :)

  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Hello Ron

    It was a huge event of the time and deserves the continued input from Vets and all others who can add and keep the whole period in the public and historic eye.

    As you state below it will help greatly.

    So there you have it......... I write a lot in order to
    a. Tell it like it was, while I can still remember it and (more selfishly)
    b. To get a longer span of after-life when I am no longer around to keep you chaps in order

    canuck likes this.
  3. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Ron. In my case it is very simple. There are two main reasons, One to ensure that the memory of what the wonderful young men did for this Country. But in reality for the civilised World. For had Hitler's philosophy endured across Europe, then the "Dark age" that WW2 (us old codgers) removed from Europe, may well have spread to engulf the rest.

    Two? An old gentleman, many years ago, said this "You have a duty to record what was probably the greatest events in this Countries history, for when all of the old Veterans go, they take it all with them" So I did, as far as I could, but only in my own limited sphere
    canuck and needs-sleep like this.
  4. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    "When you go home, tell them of us,
    Say for your tomorrow we gave our today".

    The surviving Veterans of the Second World War have so much to tell about the remembrances of those days. About the generation we belonged: their sheer determination, immense resolve, stamina and strength; their humour; although sometimes strangers to each other our reliance and dependence unquestionably given in times of need and moments of danger; their deeds and their valour . . . shine through these times and events the Veterans lived through.

    We all gave some part of our today for the tomorrows we bequeathed to the generations that followed us; many of us still bear the scars and wounds and far too many gave their all.

    Whatever we relate and however well we tell it, is in tribute to them . . . yes, and to ourselves.

    In the collection of War Memorabilia uploaded to Gallery, I try to make it come to life with the impact it had on me and its reflection on the times. It is not just a scrap of paper, but a living very tangible reminder of years spent in a vast company of others doing what we had to do.

    Joe Brown.
    4jonboy likes this.
  5. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    For the future be prepar'd,
    Guard wherever thou can'st guard;
    But thy utmost duly done,
    Welcome what thou can'st not shun.
    Follies past, give thou to air,
    Make their consequence thy care:

    Robert Burns -1788
  6. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    There is one other reason.... We are prettier! :D :rolleyes: :D

    We, still live the years of mighty deeds.
    And grieve for our fallen, our wounded bleed.
    Who will ring the Bell of Freedoms song?
    When we are gone? When we are gone?
  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Beautifully put, as with all your poems, but what's all this nonsense about "when we are gone?"

    If I can't take my PC with me I'm not going !

    You've also given me the opportunity to re-print the only poem I ever wrote, penned after we drove through Adrano shortly after it fell to our infantry.

    "Darkness was falling as we entered the town, but t'was light enough still to see
    The shattered ruins of what had been, a town, in Sicily.

    It wasn't much to call a town, compared with those of greater size.
    It wasn't built for modern war and now a stinking heap it lies,
    Rotting beneath the azure skies, of Sicily.

    It seemed as if an angry God had run amok with gory hands,
    Then dropped a veil, a canopy, of dirty, blinding, choking sands
    And as to wreak his vengeance more
    Had propped a body in each door

    We drove on by with sober thought,
    Of those poor bastards who'd been caught,
    We grimaced at the sick, sweet, smell, of this small piece of man made hell

    This could be you, the bodies said,
    This could be you, soon gone, soon dead
    We hurried by, enough to be,
    Alive that day, in Sicily"

  8. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Ron I have a large folder full of verse. I try to always to include a little humour.. as this:-​
    The Darkening.​

    Now comes the darkening of the night​
    Slithering, slowly creeping, full of fright​
    In distant corners, faint shapes appear​
    That vanish, gone, when you draw near​
    Behind the door, faint sounds are heard​
    Dreaded, yet understanding, not a word​
    A ghostly cold, now invades the bones​
    We realise, shivering, we are not alone​
    Faint misty shapes, like old faces loom​
    In the darkest realms, of my unlit room​
    But fade and drift, and change their form​
    Lit by summer lightning, a distant storm.​
    Around the door now, a faint yellow light.​
    A rustling sound, brings a ghastly fright​
    In the darkness close, the steps of death.​
    Is it the coming of that ancient. Seth?​
    Mindless terror now, invades my soul​
    I must fight this fear, not lose control.​
    The door flies open, they’ve come for me!​
    But it’s my Missus with the morning tea.​
    Brian Guy​
    March 2007.​
    :rolleyes: :D :D
    biddybump and 4jonboy like this.
  9. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Unlike others in the Engineers - Infantry - Artillery - I was usually way too busy nursing a 40 ton Churchill tank to have the time to sit and ponder and finally write a bunch of poetry.....sheesh !

    arnhem44 and Roxy like this.
  10. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member


    Ron miraculously got through the war unscathed but lost a brother KIA, you Brian and Tom were both wounded and both suffer to this day because of your wounds...

    Do you think the sacrifice - your own and those of your 'British' generation was worth it?

    I haven't looked for another thread on this subject before asking, just I have been reading a book where the proud war veteran didn't think it was... that got me stirred...

    Please bear in mind that I/we know that on one hand you are all proud of what you and yours did, rightly so and that governments since WWII do not show their appreciation. Try not to let that influence your judgement, but instead base it on the world and the UK then and how you find both now. Balanced comment on life before WWII and life now is what I am looking for.


  11. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Steve. Looking round my country now? The lack of care for our disabled. The victimisation of the unfortunately unemployed. The lowering of standards in general..... The dire condition of the poor in this land of ours? The huge growth of food parcels to keep the poor alive.

    Fight and suffer a life time of pain and distress? For this? What do you think?

    Hi Tom, true mate have a large library of verse all written in the last twenty years.
    Steve Mac likes this.
  12. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    There are, of course, many WW2 veterans who have spoken or written very little (if anything) about their wartime experiences. Among other factors, perhaps this depends on things like the personality of the veteran, his or her actual experiences and whether the veteran is happy to share personal memories and thoughts with others.
  13. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Steve Mac
    very good question as I thought I was fighting for the Status Quo of GREAT Britain - didn't take too long - 1951 in fact just after a year of marriage - when the first seeds of doubt crept into my brain of my recall for Korea - only to be

    rejected by my wounds of WW2 - and the authority thinking that I would fight for a pension - I did ask but was the source of great merriment - so I quit asking .....next seed was just after I bought my first car an Austin A35 in 1957 during the

    Suez Crisis to be told on refilling that " we'll be back on coupons shortly " THEN learning that both President Wisenhower and Prime Minister of Canada had advised Anthony Eden to ceae and desist fighting when within one day of victory -

    finally did it - I walked into a Travel Agent's office and bought a ticket for Canada.....I landed in Canada in a very cold Toronto.....and learning from her first letter from Veronica that "we were pregnant" - so another decision had to be made

    stay and pay - or return for the free maternity....we stayed and paid.....and never looked back....

    To-day that once Great Britain we fought for is no longer as I look albeit from a long distance and many visits - and aware that should I ever pass another white face in the UK - I should shout "SNAP " as the people who fought in those days

    are ignored and the treasures of Britain are being eroded daily by spongers who haven't lifted a finger in generations - immigrants who only want "benefits" an some religious type people who want to blow you all up for not joining them etc etc

    etc......then I think back to my visit with Brian and Sheila in Swanage and to discover that the treatment I receive from our Veterans associations are so far ahead of Brian's that it is ludicrous and as far as Sheila's allowance for 100% care of

    Brian is bloody insulting.. and I thank God that I made that decision back in 1957...

    Steve Mac and biddybump like this.
  14. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Steve Mac

    To underline what I receive from the Canadian Veterans Dept - as an allied wounded Veteran - without even asking - or paying - let me list the ways - then ask Brian what he gets.......:-

    Veterans Independence Program (VIP) - 1) - aids for daily living 2) -Ambulance/ medical / travel services 3 )- Audio services 4) - dental services 5) - Hospital services 6) - Medical services 7 ) - Medical supplies

    8) - Nursing services 9) Oxygen Therapy 10) - prescription drugs 11) - prothestics and orthonics 12) - Related health services 13) - Special Equipment 14 - Vision eye care......then a house cleaner once a week - window washing regularly -

    Gardening once per week - magazine quarterly from Ottawa to keep us all on the same page for new ideas......the pensions for the REAL Canadian Veterans are unbelievable and are passed to the widows....their demob gratuities were-

    1) - four years free University - 0R 2) - 5 acres of land to build a living and family - I received 22 pounds and 15 shillings - and my Old age pension - to which i worked and contributed is exactly the same as the FIRST cheque in 1989 -

    the Brit Govt cannot afford to bring us up to to-days entitlement....at 400GBP's million ....but have NO qualms about the 1.5 BILLION to keep radical muslims and other immigrants in luxury - bitter - Not really - too busy laughing ...

    Steve Mac and biddybump like this.
  15. Rav4

    Rav4 Senior Member

    It's history and "those who don't learn from history are condembed to relive it".

    It would have been nice if the WW2 vets where the last ones to continue to write, no such luck!
  16. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    That is my old mate Tom.. .. A Gentleman....Bless Him, always thinking of others. I have no wish at all to sound as though I am looking for some sort of charity...I have over the years armed myself with an armoured steel skin of independence. That combined with a natural stubbornness !

    But what Tom says, is absolutely true. There is not the care in this country for those that gave them freedom from a medieval dark age. At one time, it was mandatory, for the War pensioners welfare officer to see the severely war disabled to ensure they are managing. That went out the window a long time ago. I have not seen a welfare officer for years..... There is more concern for the war pensioners from BLESMA, (British limbless ex service men's Association) Than from any official government source. Though I do have a wheelchair that is on loan from the wheelchair clinic.

    This would make a great subject for a proper discussion.?
    Steve Mac likes this.
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Deleted because I can't be bothered
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    As above :)
  19. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    That last post ? Oh I have nothing to say. Members must make their own minds up. Sufficient to say that is how a great many of the Veterans see this once wonderful land ....now..
    Steve Mac likes this.
  20. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Brian -

    It would appear that I touched a nerve in the member from Leeds - not sure whether it was my reference to his friendly and peaceful neighbours from the Mid East or the spongers who are draining the welfare funds on a daily basis

    as I merely observed what is actually happening and being reported constantly in your once GREAT Britain .....and your leaders who are constantly threatening to "crack" down on the abuses - then DO nothing - the fact that "he can't be

    bothered " - twice - tells me that he joins many millions who also can't be bothered and is the root cause of the country's decline - but as you say - he has made up his mind ...!

    Steve Mac and biddybump like this.

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