Since City Jackdaw has been flying, I think I’ve probably made a Remebrance Sunday post every year. Except yesterday.
As usual we spent the day, which coincided with the Armistice Centennial, by visiting the memorial on which the names of past family members are listed. It’s this personal connection that gives context to the wider impact of that war.
As I didn’t post yesterday, I will share this photograph today: it’s from when I visited the grave of my Gt Grandfather, Timothy O’Sullivan, in 2007, ninety years to the day since he died. He is buried in Thessaloniki. A plot that is forever England.
While at the football stadiums all around the country players and fans are observing a minute’s silence for tomorrow’s Remembrance Sunday, I just learned that Heart of Midlothian (Hearts) was the first British club whose players signed up en masse for World War One.
Sixteen players enlisted, and on the first day of the Battle of the Somme three died. Of the sixteen in total, seven died in the war and seven were seriously injured.
That’s the kind of statistic that brings home just how devastating that war was.
I recently finished reading a biography about possibly my country’s greatest actress: Vivien Leigh. Triumphant and tragic, always lovely, ever fragile, her most difficult part was that of her own life.
My post on an old movies site on Facebook provoked a conversation about her being England’s greatest actress. I was asked what it was about her that made me of this opinion, and how she faired in comparison to the likes of Dame Judi Dench and Dame Helen Mirren. (The question was asked in all innocence, purely out of curiosity, as it was posed by a fan of Vivien’s who was curious as to why I hold her in such similar esteem.)
I replied that both Judi Dench and Helen Mirren are fine actresses, (Elizabeth Taylor too), but to me there seems a certain gravitas in both Leigh’s performances and in her attitude towards her craft. Most of her…