In Memory

Nov. 11th, 2010 04:22 pm
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In Memory of Rifleman Fred Kottman, 21st Battalion, London Regiment (1st Surrey Rifles). Born 1899, London, died 1st September 1918, France.





Fred is the soldier with the cross next to him in the two pictures, and is my great-great uncle. I wish I knew who the other soldiers in the pictures are, and what happened to them. Its so sad to look at the second picture especially, as they are so young and look so happy! Just recently I've read The Lost Voices of the First World War, which is a record of the memories of soldiers who fought in the First World War. It really brought it home to you what it was like, and how they suffered. I wish also that I'd known the circumstances of Fred signing up. What did his mum think? Were any of his friends going? I don't think its a regiment from his part of London, and why was that? And he was so young.....its so sad.

Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, -
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.


- Wilfred Owen, 1917.

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!–An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.


- Wilfred Owen. (1893 - 1918)

*Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori - It is sweet and right to die for your country

"Just mothers to stand in vain and cry / Tears and medals in the rain / ....on this day we praise the fallen...." - VNV Nation, "Honour"
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day 17 → an art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)

I wasn't really sure what to put for this one - I couldn't think of anything which really jumped out at me as an amazing piece of art. But I was sure there were some things which I really liked, and then I thought - it doesn't have to be a painting, so I present to you a selection of my sister's work :) These are some costumes that she's done for her university and college courses. She is just so inventive, and has such good ideas - you can give her a description of what you want, and then an hour later its either made or at least designed! :) Click here for photos! )

Book Ninety Seven - Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

This book is brilliant. It tells the story of Veronika, who decides one morning that she wants to kill herself. She takes some pills, and lies down to die. She then wakes up in hospital, having been resucitated (took me ages to work out how to spell that and now I'm still not sure I've got it right!). She is then told that she is ok for now, but the drugs she has taken have weakened her heart and hse only has a week to live. She is sent to a "mental hospital", where she meets the other patients there, and the book is good in that for a couple of them it goes into their stories too. It describes how while Veronica is there she begins to think differently about her life, and is able to affect the lives of the other patients there, specifically one man with schizophrenia. Its written in such a way which makes you think about your own life as well, which is good. And then as the book builds towards the ending it gets better and better! I won't spoil it for you, but just to say the ending is great! 10 / 10

I've also recently reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, which I enjoyed. I have read one other of his books (The Devil and Miss Prym), which was ok but not as good as the other two I've read. I think I will look up more by him though :)

the rest of the days )
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I know I won't be able to go on here at the weekend, so I'm going to do two days today and two tomorrow!

day 08 → a photo that makes you angry/sad )

day 09 → a photo you took )

the rest of the days! )

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