Thursday, 14 August 2014

Buying a badge

I had a little talk to the guy diligently selling  "Vietnam" badges.    Or, rather, I lent him my ear for a couple of minutes.  He was quite happy to tell his stories, but he wasn't much of a listener!  Just for the record, he was an infantryman in 1 RAR.
And I'm not sure that I like the design of the badge (but I didn't tell him that), although I assume that it represents the Long Tan cross.

1 comment:

  1. Last Sunday we were reminded in church that the author of 'lest we forget" had quite a different object of memory from that to which it is now usually applied. Rudyard Kipling was seeking to add a sombre note to the celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1896, by pointing to the risk of forgetting the Source.
    The tumult and the shouting dies—
    The Captains and the Kings depart—
    Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
    An humble and a contrite heart.
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    Far-called our navies melt away—
    On dune and headland sinks the fire—
    Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
    Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
    Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    The last line has traditonally been added to a much lesser poem by a forgotten poet, Laurence Binyon, who rather over-sweetened his oeuvre so that most of it is too much. It sad that Kipling's prayer has been superseded by something that in cloying words where more is less.

    With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
    England mourns for her dead across the sea.
    Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
    Fallen in the cause of the free.

    Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
    Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
    There is music in the midst of desolation
    And a glory that shines upon our tears.

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.