28 May 2017

Names awaited

A visit to the Black Watch regiment museum at Balhousie Castle is of personal relevance to me as at the age of 19 my father landed with the Black Watch in Normandy a few days after the D-Day landings and soldiered his way through France, Belgium and Holland until finishing deep within Germany. The most poignant moment, however, was standing in front of this memorial to the dead from much more recent and more questionable campaigns, and looking at that empty slab at the middle right that has been erected to bear the names of young men or women, currently still full of life, or perhaps who are not even men or women yet but are running carefree around Scotland as youngsters. The presumption that the names will inevitably arrive once the half-full slab at the middle left is filled is disturbing.


8 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

That empty slab goes a long way past disturbing for me.

Andrew said...

It certainly adds a touch of grim and honest reality to the recruiting publicity that urges youngsters to join up. Reason to pause for thought as they consider the exciting life of training, travel and camaraderie that is offered to them. I would also suggest such youngsters chat with an ex-student of mine who joined the army and returned home with only one leg.

Elephant's Child said...

Not forgetting those who still have all their bodily parts but whose minds are injured.

susan said...

It's always the young who pay the price for the idiocy and greed of their elders.

Sean Jeating said...

Of course, 'To the Glory of God'. ...

Andrew said...

Given that God is generally claimed to be on all sides in all conflicts God must indeed glory in gory combat, obviously (unless there is no God, of course, or maybe many but they just don't give a damn - and who could blame them?).

Sean Jeating said...

Had not heard / seen the word 'gory' before.
'glory in gory combat' is a pun, I do like very much.

Andrew said...

Ah yes Sean. I could add that perhaps the idea of God puts the "l" (or Hell?) in glory, allowing mere gory to masquerade as something noble.