Monday, November 13, 2006

Not to be Forgotten

Is it really 12 months since last we visited the British War memorial cemetery in Jelgava for remembrance Sunday?

Well on Sunday on grey dull overcast day, with cloud cover almost completely hiding the TV tower, I set off - alone - too find my way. Those of who read last years blog on this subject, will remember our experience in finding our way, well role forward 12 months, and guess what - Yup I got lost, and once again espied a CD plated car. Surely he knew the way - but not this time - he was a s lost as I was. But then the old memory cells kicked in, and I remembered that you do not take the turning off the main road into Jelgava, but carry on over the flyover, and lo and behold there off to my left was the cemetery.

Like last year it was a small gathering, of around 30+ people, the vast bulk of people being military of one kind or another.

We all paid our respects to those who died, both British and Latvian, a little more poignant this year, having actually met some of the descendants of those British sailors who died in World War 1 - no sign of the Earl of Carlisle, but as his name was on the service sheet, he clearly was expected to be there, I trust all is well with him, but our Mr B...- ambassador at large, duly stepped in to replace the Earl.

Like last year we were all invited back to the Jelgava Mayor's reception, but having now managed to find my way to the cemetery, I decided not too chance getting lost in Jelgava itself.

I have taken some picture of the two memorials, apologies no pictures of the assembled gathering, but I forgot to take camera with me, when the service of remembrance started

With that I took myself back along the somewhat bleak, and snow covered road back to Riga, and drank a beer to the memory of those who had fallen. One small note on the service itself, listening to the RAF Sergeant reading out the names, it was interesting to note, that in so many cases, whilst they new the name, Service etc, they did not know their age - I would have thought that if nothing else the military would have had a record of their age - perhaps someone can enlighten me as to why.

For many remembrance is an every day occurrence, but for those of us fortunate never to have experienced the horror of war, then it is good to have the chance to pay our respects to those who have fallen, in order that we may enjoy the life we have now.

However for at least one Englishman, this was not a weekend to remember, indeed I suspect he will want to forget it immediately - the man in question ? - none other than the coach of England's rugby team - a Mr A. Robinson - not that I would wish to be accused of an anti English mentality, but I have to confess to a slight smile crossing my lips, when the full time whistle blew - and there it was - the Aggie's had won - a historic victory was it not.

What with victories for Scotland, Wales and Ireland, along with the French getting stuffed by New Zealand. I will for the moment bask in at least Scotland's victory and the English loss.

Speaking of basking in glory, what about Reading giving Tottenham a football lesson - a the dream goes on, at least for another week.

Finally can I remind all of those out there interested in the Zvannieki home, that we are on a fund raising mission, so if you wish, please send the money to their bank account at Rietumu ( see info on the left), or if is easier then pass your donation to me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi David,

I have been taking a look at your blog and am so pleased that you got to attend the Remembrance Day Ceremony. I didn't get to attend this year as we made the trip out to Riga in October instead. I rely on your blog to keep up to date( are like the news!)

It's really nice to see some photos again. It looks so much colder than last year.The Mulled wine would definately have come in handy.

I have got a list of those buried in the cemetary, most were POW's who died
in 1917. I have some ages too and have started to add them to a blog (it seems a much quicker way to try to find some relatives compapred with setting up the website (as I did for the 9 killed in action at Riga aboard HMS Dragon)

There is still the mystery of which one of our relatives is buried at Jelgava and not at sea.

thank again

6:19 pm  

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