Monday 11 November 2013

Remembering Rememberance

The eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month.  Every year this day is remembered.  As a child (ages between 5 and 11 years 1960 to 1967) I remember we always stopped what we were doing in class and observed the two minute silence.  It was explained to us why we did it.  I don't remember doing it while I was at my senior school or college, or even in my early years at work, I did though in my fashion. We certainly never observed the day unless the eleventh of November fell on a Sunday.  Brownies and Guides we were on parade.  I don't think the actual day was observed properly again until about fifteen years ago.  I remember being in places like Woolworths or Tesco, and announcement being made, we will  be observing the two minute silence, you would hear little children chattering, but that didn't matter, but to hear adults chattering that did!  I used to observe the time in my way in my early years at work, and my boss once snapped his fingers and said get on with your work, what are you doing day-dreaming! Obviously he didn't understand.  When I stopped work to have children, I would always stop if I was watching television or listening to the radio, because they observed it at the BBC on the actual day, and still do.

I returned to work about twenty years ago, my first job on my return was in a small local post office, I remember Helen my boss put a notice on the counter window saying this post office will be observing the two minutes silence there was only three of us Helen, her husband and me but we observed the silence.  In later years Helen and her husband divorced and a a couple of years later Helen had a new partner.  That particular morning the notice went up and post office which had a queue mostly elderly getting their pensions - in the days of  books with dockets in!  Helen and I stopped and the queue stopped, the young mum with two young children put her finger to her lips as the little child spoke.  Then when work resumed again and the queue died down, Helen's new partner came to the counter and asked quizzically what was that all about........ I couldn't believe what he had just asked!  I was stunned, shocked someone not knowing........  Helen made some excuse, but quite honestly it was no excuse, she was just making excuses for him.  (He didn't know what the Mary Celeste was either.)  I asked if he went to school...........

My second job was in a craft shop.  I observed the silence as I used to in my own way, then after a while I was beginning to open the shop and spending the mornings on my own until the owners came in at lunchtime. The November before I left work, before the shop was sold I sorted all the cross-stitch kits out.  The stand was directly opposite the door quite prominent.  So I sorted the kits putting the ones with poppies on on the front, and to fill up the spaces anything with bright red on.  The stand stood like that till the shop was sold at the end on November.  One customer even complimented us on our little show of poppies, the bosses didn't notice about the stand until it was pointed out to them, I took the compliment quietly as they had thought the other two staff had done as they were always sorting and tidying.

I will be observing the hour again today whilst doing my chores and listening to radio.

I did a post about my grandfathers


  1. Such a poignant day. We must never forget all that it stands for, as clearly you won't x

  2. I did my silence with the radio today too.

  3. A very thoughtful post Julie. Thank you so much for popping over to Chalky's World and leaving such a kind comment about my "Blue Moon!"

  4. I always observe the silence too. I was in the car on Sunday and pulled over for my two minutes. M x

  5. I always observe the silence too. My girls and I switched on the TV and watched the footage from London's Trafalgar Square. xx

  6. I listened to the local radio broadcasting the service from our city Cenotaph on Sunday, it was very moving. As a Girl Guide I used to carry our flag for the Remembrance Service, a very great honour in deed and one I loved doing.


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