This year is an especially poignant Remembrance Day for me. On Wednesday 26th January 1944, my Great Uncle Edwin Mitchell, my grandmother’s favourite brother, was killed at sea. He was just 25. The same age I am now. I can’t quite fathom that.
I have visited his grave, in the beautiful church in Corfe Castle village, Dorset, where my grandmother grew up. I have managed to find a picture of it online, along with a list of all the men of the village who died during the war. The village was, and still is, tiny; the fact that there are so many men on that list is shocking. What a blow it must have been to the villagers to lose so many of their vibrant young boys. No wonder my Nan never went back after the war.
I wish I could have known my Great Uncle; my Nan doesn’t talk about him much, but the memories she has shared were of a fun loving, generous, tease of a brother whose death devastated her. I’m thinking of him today, and of all the other boys and men who grew up with him in that peaceful little village, went bravely off to fight for their country’s freedom, and never made it back to England’s green and pleasant land. Their courage is something that should never be forgotten.