Thank Your Lucky Stars

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RichmondCommu, 22 Aug 2015.

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  1. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    G'day everyone,

    With the recent anniversary of VJ Day I thought it might be relevant to create this thread given that as far as I know no forum members took part in WW2 and for that we should all be thankful. If we'd been born in a different generation many of us would have served our armed forces and some of us may never have returned home.

    Three members of my family saw action during WW2 and mercifully all of them survived. My Grandad was part of Bomber Command, one of his cousins was involved in the D Day landings and another served in the Merchant Navy and was torpedoed on one occasion.

    My oldest son is half German and on his Mothers side the picture is very different. Four brothers went to war and none of them came home. One died outside of Stalingrad, one was killed in the Ukraine, one lies at the bottom of the North Atlantic in an Iron Coffin aka U Boat and one died in Northern France. The bodies of the two brothers who died in the East were never returned but the fourth brother is at La Cambe war cemetry. None of the lads were members of the SS but all of them believed in Hitler and believed that they were doing the right thing. I'm aware that the German army did some terrible things in the USSR and those brothers might have been part of it but we will never know.

    And here I sit in our garden on a beautiful late summers evening.

    Kind regards,

    Richmond Commuter.
     
    Last edited: 22 Aug 2015
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  3. CarltonA

    CarltonA Member

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    Bear in mind that "the last war" did not end in 1945. A few forum members have in fact served in the forces including myself. Second world war veterans that survive are now in their nineties and are outnumbered in the British Legion by those who have served in more recent conflicts. There has only been one year since 1945 that a member of the British army has not been killed on active duty. Having said that I agree with your general sentiment that we are lucky not to have gone through what previous generations had to endure.
     
  4. DasLunatic

    DasLunatic Member

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    Indeed. AFAIK, Paul Sidorzuk is the oldest member on this forum at 70, and at such an age, he would have been unable to fight since he was evacuated during the Evacuation. He may, however, have fought in the Cold War against the Soviets, but I'll need him to confirm this.
     
  5. Kernowfem

    Kernowfem Member

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    A well written post. My father was RN, saw active service in the Falklands. My brother is RAF, Saw active service in Afghanistan. For any family in any war over an endless time it's a sacrifice and a worry. Our veterans are wonderful and I personally am most grateful for what they did for us.

    With new threats such as terrorism I fear that the youth of today may no longer be lucky enough to be told they don't know how lucky they are. No one knows what the future holds, but as much as i wish, I doubt the atrocities of war will ever be a thing of the past.
     
  6. Johnuk123

    Johnuk123 Established Member

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    I think you'll find he was never evacuated and he certainly didn't fight in the Cold War as it wasn't a European fighting war just a period of tension between the 'superpowers'.
     
  7. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    Definitely. My grandfather served in North Africa, and got ill. Whilst he was recuperating in Cairo most of his battalion got wiped out by Rommel.

    On such small things whole families turn
     
  8. DasLunatic

    DasLunatic Member

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    I was referring to the many proxy wars, such as Korea and Vietnam that Paul may have fought in. Besides, we still had national service until 1963, and as a young adult, Paul would have needed money.
     
  9. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    For the record the UK wasn't involved in the Vietnam civil war.
     
  10. TheKnightWho

    TheKnightWho Established Member

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    A very low number of British troops did serve in Vietnam (mostly with Australia), but I doubt we have a forum member among them! (I believe a grand total of 6 GSMs inscribed with South Vietnam were awarded.)
     
    Last edited: 23 Aug 2015
  11. CarltonA

    CarltonA Member

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    It may be useful to point out that if someone is seventy years old then they would not have been involved in the Korean War as they would have been about eight years old when the ceasefire was called.
     
  12. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Anyone who goes in to the forces now should do so with their eyes open. The exes dad was a career soldier during the cold war and had a great time. I am still friends with him now and he gets lots of younger folk saying they are thinking of joining the army, he tells them not to be daft, it is bloody dangerous these days, you can get sent off to any old tip to fight for rich mens oil. He isn't far wrong.
     
  13. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    It isn't as if the Cold War was a quiet period in the history of the UK's armed forces. Plenty of conflicts overseas (Suez Crisis, Falklands, Aden Emergency, Dhofar Rebellion, Korea and the Malayan Emergency to name some of them) plus of course The Troubles rumbling around through most of the period. I think I came across a statistic that stated in every year since the end of WW2, other than 1968, at least one British service man or woman has been killed on operations.

    I respect his opinion but it strikes me that it doesn't really matter when you're talking about service in the UK's armed forces has always left you at great risk of being sent somewhere far away from home to fight and potentially die.

    That being said I'm grateful that we have such people willing to sign up with those risks (as I am for those who didn't have a choice and still fought as hard as anyone).
     
  14. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    You are of course correct about those conflicts during the cold war. I think his point was that there were a lot more soldiers then and you were far from nailed on to be sent to a war zone. He was a Kingo and spent his career posted in Cyprus, Hong Kong, Germany and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland was no walk in the park and he lost one of his brothers there. However, he never fired a shot in anger and was never shot at. A soldier who joined in the last decade or so will have been to Afghanistan or Iraq or both. Oddly enough he did end up getting shot at after he retired from the army and worked for a security firm in Iraq.
     
  15. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    That's the thing, you never can be 100% sure who you'll be sent to fight against. A lot of sabre-rattling in recent years has been directed towards the Assad regime in Syria (which would have been a major mistake) and Russia. While ISIS is a major threat, it is more of a law enforcement problem for the UK (and therefore is better addressed by law enforcement-type solutions) rather than a direct military solution.

    Also, I wouldn't be keen on putting myself in jeopardy for those unelected buffoons in the royal family; although I admire the effort that the armed forces make, like it or not, admission to the armed forces is dependent on swearing allegiance to the crown and that's not something I could do (except maybe with my fingers crossed behind my back). For balance, the Queen is OK but I'm not very keen (or even very not keen) on her heir apparent.

    Besides, conscripting an entire population means that the population of the entire country could be considered to be military, and therefore arguably a legitimate target for the enemy; the strength of argument for "the entire population of a country with conscription is a legitimate target" is such that it would be a factor against attacks on major cities being war crimes. That is my greatest reason for opposing conscription; militarise the whole population and the enemy may argue that no-one is truly a civilian under such circumstances.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Much as I agree with the underlying sentiment, the problem is that even if the draft was to be re-run with the WW2 criteria, it would have so many holes that anyone who didn't want to fight and had even a modicum of money could avoid it (one of the exemptions was Nothern Ireland (due to potential sectarian difficulties)); also Eire would then be to Britain what Canada was to the USA during the Vietnam draft.
     
    Last edited: 23 Aug 2015
  16. St Rollox

    St Rollox Member

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    Be curious to know just how many WW2 vets are left.
    The most famous of them still alive is Prince Philip but then he's been lucky enough to have access to the best medical treatment money could buy.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    We can thank dear old Harold Wilson for that.
     
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