There may be some occasions where a bit of publicity or protest is order…
Remembrance Day events are clearly NOT one such occasions.
The as-yet unnamed creep, and coward, picture below decided it would be a good idea to hide his face and skateboard through the events being held to mark Remembrance Day in Bristol.
Hidden by his mask and wearing horns, he was described as being dressed in a pink frilly corset and striped stocking.
After he gatecrashed the march through the town, police tackled him as members of the crowd shouted their disgust at him.
He tried to get away, but was outnumbered. A witness said he put up a lot of resistance and they had to use quite some force to restrain him, and that people were shouting “rip his head off”.
After being arrested on suspicion of an offence, Avon and Somerset officer stood guard around him, as a number of people from the crowd were threatening to attack him.
Guess he was lucky they did not have to leave him… as they went for a tea-break.
Later, Jose Paulo Da Silveria, 38, was charged under the Public Order Act, police said.
An Avon and Somerset Police spokeswoman said: ‘Police arrested a 38-year-old man at the Remembrance Sunday service in Bristol city centre.
‘He was taken into custody.
‘Jose Paulo Da Silveria has been charged under the Public Order Act and will appear at Bristol
Magistrates’ Court on December 4.’
As he was bundled into a police car yesterday, officers had to forcefully remove several males who approached him and shouted obscenities and ‘death’s too good for you’.
Poppy Burning has also become an issue
See this story which appeared around the same time, and has raised similar emotions, especially after earlier poppy burning events:
A teenager who drunkenly posted a picture of himself burning a poppy on Facebook was in police custody last night.
Officers arrested Linford House after they received a complaint about the image that was published in the early hours of Remembrance Sunday.
When police called at his parents’ home that evening, the 19-year-old had already taken down the image on a friend’s advice..
A man, named locally as Linford House (pictured right), 19, was arrested yesterday after the image (left) appeared online. The words on the right image have been written on by a third party, who posted it online
It showed a cigarette lighter with a flame catching light to the bottom of a poppy, allegedly with the words: ‘How about that you squadey [sic] ****s’.
The student was questioned by detectives for several hours yesterday afternoon and last night he was still in custody facing a second night behind bars.
I don’t really know what has kept me so diverted, or if things have been particularly low key this year, but it was only when I arrived at the shops last night I really noticed my first proper poppy event – with some Army personnel doing their stuff around the checkouts.
Maybe I’m not watching enough ‘live’ TV nowadays – the current love affair it seems to have with the talentless (nobodies who seem to think they have talent) and the worthless (celebrities who seem to think they are gods) – means I’ve retreated to channels that serve up programmes made in the days when television was not just a medium for personal promotion and blatant sponsorship.
Anyway, that is tangential and irrelevant to the subject, and I just want to make sure we make our little contribution to the appeal (because so many of the little-known subjects we describe have wartime connections or origins) by giving it a mention.
Last year was marred by the story of a couple caught on video while stealing a Poppy Appeal container with donations.
This year, I spotted a story about an anti-poppy demonstration which took place at Celtic Park, noted because it is not far from me. Apparently this is becoming a regular occurrence, and the club has been slated for not doing more to prevent its re-occurrence. I’ve no idea if it’s the club’s fault or not – it ‘s not that hard to sneak a protest banner in after all given the flags etc that fans carry – they’d have to ban the lot to be effective. The real shame is that this sort of thing continues to show a lack of respect, and that the real story of today.
Click on the image or button below for further details of the Poppy Appeal, and how you might be able to help:
Since many of the items which interest us arose during the war, I like to take the opportunity to mention Remembrance Sunday and the Poppy Appeal, which is now PoppyScotland here.
I never quite know what to write, since this is a recurring event, but had been mulling over the significance this year of the absence of any survivors from the first great conflict, as the last survivor – Harry Patch, known as The Last Tommy – passed away earlier this year, aged 111 years and 38 days, and the last surviving soldier to have fought in the trenches of the World War I.
It had never occurred to me before, but when I noticed his birthday fell in 1898, it reminded me that my own grandfather had lied about his age so that he could join up during World War I, but I don’t know exactly when. Whatever the events, it wasn’t something he mentioned often, and I don’t recall the details now, as he did live to a fair age, but his later years were ruined thanks to a lifetime of tobacco – it may not have killed him outright, but it led to a series of strokes, ruined his circulation, and all but destroyed his ability to walk. Despite this, he fought to retain his independence right up to his last day, and insisted on living on his own. Possibly a characteristic of that generation.
However, I’ve cut short the thoughts I had on that subject, after I was diverted onto the topic of respect, which is something I believe is deeply entrenched in the spirit of Remembrance which we commemorate at this time.
This happened when I saw a recent BBC Scotland video report which allegedly show a woman, accompanied by a male who diverted the shop staff, stealing a Poppy appeal container.
I could probably waffle on for ages about how despicable this is, as in any sort of theft or crime carried out against those who depend on the charity of others in any way, but I think the cowardice and lack of respect in the case of this particular action marks it out for special mention, and merely adding further words to its mention would be pointless
I prefer to simply give the couple, and their faces, the publicity they deserve, and let the world see this brave pair in action:
Even after Remembrance
2009 doesn’t seem to have been a good year for respect, and on the day after Remembrance Day, a poppy charity collection was was Stolen from the Marriot Hotel in Riverview Drive, Dyce.
No pictures this time though, and Grampian Police wish to trace a a man seen in the area, described as being in his 20s, about 6 feet tall, and dressed in dark clothing.
In 2006, the appeal launched a new identity – Poppyscotland, to help with easier identification of its round the year work in fundraising and support to veterans. The Earl Haig Fund Scotland has not disappeared – it remains the organisation’s legally-registered name.
The Earl Haig Fund Scotland is a registered charity, founded in 1921 by Field Marshal Earl Haig, to provide practical help in time of need to all ex-Servicemen, women and their dependants.
Poppyscotland is the only charity officially recognised by the Scottish Parliament and every year is invited to launch the Appeal at Holyrood.
I hadn’t noticed, but it seems the canny Scottish Poppy can be identified by its lack of a leaf when compared to its cousin from the south, a shrewd saving which ultimately swells the coffers by some £15, 000 at present costs.
Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory produces over four million poppies each year, and supports employment for veterans with disabilities, with 33 veterans employed at present, aged between 30 and 72, and having served in every campaign from Korea to the first Gulf War.
The 2008 diary of events:
|27th October||National Launch
4:00 pm – Thanksgiving Service
Families of Service personnel killed in Afghanistan and Iraq have arranged a special thanksgiving service in their honour. The non-denominational service will be held in Stirling at the Church of the Holy Rude, where tribute will also be paid to the sacrifices made by all Servicemen and women in recent conflicts.
A spokesperson will be available for interview and a statement will be issued on behalf of the families.
6:30 pm – Launch of the 2008 Scottish Poppy Appeal, Stirling Castle
Hosted by First Minister. The event will be covered by BBC Newsreader Sally McNair and attended by 400 supporters of Poppyscotland.
|29th October||MSPs Launch
Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
|3rd – 9th November||Poppy Week|
|3rd November||Edinburgh Garden of Remembrance Opening Ceremony
Princes St, Edinburgh
|4th November||Glasgow Garden of Remembrance Opening Ceremony
George Square, Glasgow
|8th November||Poppy Saturday|
|9th November||Remembrance Sunday|
|11th November||Armistice Day and 11-11-11 T|
1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance is a BBC campaign to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Armistice, running in the days leading up to November 11, 1918.
With the aim of personalising the act of remembrance and bringing World War I vividly alive in the present, it will encourage individuals and families to look into the stories of their relatives that lived in the First World War through a variety of activities.
Read further advance information in the original press release.
From next week you can:
- Find out more about the events of the Great War on the website through the World War I timeline and footage
- Discover your World War I family and local history through links to an array of family history sites
- Post World War I artefacts, photographs and memories about those who served to the online wall of remembrance
- Browse the many World War I stories already online including those of some familiar faces
- View listings of all related programming on BBC television and radio throughout November with sneak previews available
- Attend free Remembrance events across the country on the weekend of the 8 and 9 of November
- Sign up to BBC Remembrance’s text service to receive the story of a local soldier who served in World War I on your mobile
Picture courtesy of The Royal British Legion.
I used to poke fun at the antics of the Jobsworth types that use “Health and Safety” as some sort of bizarre catch-all to ensure that the rest of us have no fun – my favourite example was the ending of “open cockpit” days at air museums, where the curators were bludgeoned into closing their exhibits to the public on the basis that they were a radiation hazard thanks to the radium in the luminous paint used on the instruments to provide night-time visibility for the pilots during the war.
Then I stopped laughing as these petty minded individuals discovered they had the power to do as they pleased, and moved from genuine hazards that might present a real danger, and became the guides for anyone that wanted to avoid being sued for anything from a paper cut and above.
We’ve just had the last episode of BBC 7′s current run of The Further Adventures of Doctor Syn” (which is highly recommended), and the announcer rounded the series off with the announcement that Health and Safety had put an end to the annual celebration of the character, which takes place in Dymchurch, Kent.
Apparently, it’s too dangerous to have the swashbuckling hero ride a horse through the village in 2008, and he must walk instead.
This smacks of the same insanity from one of our earlier stories that has seen the cancellation and ending of ending of a number of Remembrance Day parades because someone advised the organisers that someone may be injured, and they can no longer afford the rocketing cost of insurance, or of policing parade.
Since few might believe me, here’s the story in full:
For the past 44-years, villagers in Dymchurch, Kent, have celebrated the character of Dr Syn, a quiet village vicar by day and a smuggler hero by night, who was created by local author Russell Thorndike.
Dr Syn galloped through seven novels, donning a scarecrow disguise to avoid excisemen and soldiers as he and his desperate band of night riders bought food and drink to starving villagers.
On the second August bank holiday of every other year, a resident of Dymchurch has dressed as Dr Syn to gallop along a nearby beach and ride through the streets for a Day of Syn celebrating the hero.
However, this year, his exploits were curtailed after insurers decided it was too dangerous, leaving Dr Syn instead forced to walk.
Many insurers rejected cover outright, and the cheapest quote was £1,000.
Ian Hyson, Chairman of the Day of Syn, said: “For 44 years Dr Syn has burst into the festival on horseback. He is the main show and when he makes his entrance people are truly overwhelmed.
“But this time he just had to walk around. It just wasn’t the same.”
“He has been on horseback since 1964, but this year the insurers just did not want to know because they said riding a horse was a ‘severe’ health and safety risk. Only one insurer would listen and they quoted us £1,000.
“We simply cannot afford that, so had to do without.”
In previous years organisers relied on public liability insurance to cover the event, but then discovered the policy, which cost around £450 for the entire festival, did not cover someone on horseback.
Angela Green, a fan of the books, said: “I’ve read all his novels and when it comes down to it Dr Syn is a horseman, plain and simple.
“For him to be without a horse makes a mockery of the whole thing. He’s on the front cover of the first ever book for God’s sake.”
Russell Thorndike wrote seven Dr Syn books set around Romney Marsh, from 1915 including titles such as The Courageous Exploits of Dr Syn, Dr Syn on the High Seas and The Amazing Quest of Dr Syn. Thorndike died in 1972 at the age of 87.
Health and safety fears finally halt swashbuckling Dr Syn Telegraph.co.uk, September 4, 2008.
It’s a shame that Health and Safety, which is deadly serious, is now often reduced to a joke when applied inappropriately, or to allow someone to make themselves feel important, as they know that once they quote the phrase “For Health and Safety reasons”, few will dare to argue with them.
It was sad to see that what is expected to be the last parade to include all the veterans from the 51st Highland Division ( a TA division formed in 1908 ) will take place in Perth this year.
The effort is simply becoming too much for those who attend, all now being in their 80s and 90s. Reunion organiser, Dr Tom Renouf (83) said, “Some of them are in wheelchairs, some of them are on crutches, some of them have sticks, but they will all be marching shoulder to shoulder, holding their heads proud.” The parade is also be attended by people and relatives of those from overseas locations where the division served, such as St Valery, Holland and the Ardennes.
This year, the reunion will include the dedication of a tapestry portraying the men’s contribution to World War II, followed by a march to the pipes and drums wiht serving territorial army members, cadets and World War II vehicles.
A Remembrance Service will also be held, and the day will conclude with a fly-past.
Unfortunately, I cannot give a date for the march. In line with many such news items provided by the BBC nowadays, no date is given for the event, or even an implied date such as “This Sunday”. Quite why they should omit clearly stated dates for events is a mystery, or perhaps it’s simply just bad writing or reporting. Either way, it’s extremely frustrating, and something I’ve noticed on more than one occasion in recent times.
VE, or Victory in Europe Day passed quietly this week, marking the day when German command representatives headed by Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel were invited to sign the final German Instrument of Surrender, which entered into force at 23:01 Central European Time.
I mention it after noticing some debate about whether or not it should be more publicly celebrated than it is, and comparing it to Remembrance Sunday, the second Sunday of November, the Sunday nearest to November 11 (Remembrance Day), which is the anniversary of the end of the hostilities of the World War I at 11:00 am in 1918.
I also noticed that part of the debate observed that VE-Day meant nothing to many young people. I found that interesting after watching a news item this morning, which was exposing the apparently ineffective management of national school exam timetable, resulting in situations where pupils may be required to sit anything up to four exams in the one day, spending anything up to 7 hours under exam conditions. I’ve been there, most of have, and two would be more than enough, split between morning and afternoon. Heads should roll over something like this, as the folk collecting wages for running our exams are clearly incompetent, based on this, and other fiascos they have have presided over recently.
Regardless of that, given the level of ignorance suggested, one is moved to ask what the surfeit of exams is aimed at, if the pupils are not even being taught basic modern history?
A Little Local Memorial
On a more positive note, I spotted some (relatively) local news of an act of remembrance for three submariners who lost their lives during a training exercise in a midget submarine in Loch Striven, just off Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute.
Operation of the X Craft was hazardous at best, but on March 5, 1945, even routine testing was to prove fatal. On this day, three of the crew of XE11 were lost during a routine operation.
A test dive, to calibrate the depth gauge was to be carried out. two crew would normally have been sufficient, but on this day, three extra crew were being carried to gain experience. Rising in 10 foot increments from a depth of 100 feet, the craft struck the keel of the Boom Defence vessel Norma, stationary and silent, just at the moment her screws began to turn. The craft’s pressure hull was ruptured, and she sank to 210 feet. When the hatch was opened, two crew members were swept out by the escaping air and recovered on the surface. Sadly, the remaining three crew members were unable to escape. Their bodies were recovered by divers the next day, along with the craft, and laid to rest in Rothesay cemetery.
At 210 feet, the event is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the deepest unaided ascent from a sunken submarine.
In 2005, a small memorial garden was opened during other events on the island, held to mark the 60th anniversary of VE-Day. The ceremony was attended by the surviving crew member who related the story of the escape, Bill Morrison. (His personal account is the source of the date given above, March 5.)
In 2008, for the first time, those in attendance included the widow of ERA Les Swatton.
- Lieutenant Aubrey Staples SANF (V), commanding officer
- Able Seaman J J Carroll
- Stoker E Higgins
Those who survived:
- First lieutenant, Sub-Lt Bill Morrison RNVR
- ERA Les Swatton
Many items featured on our site date back to the time remembered, and we must never forget the debt we owe to those who took part, especially today, when it seems that what they gave their lives for is now being slowly eroded.
A news report prior to this year’s Remembrance ceremonies tells of only five survivor’s of World War I now remaining alive, one being also being Britain’s oldest man.
Picture courtesy of The Royal British Legion.
- Reflection - Through Remembrance of past sacrifice in the cause of freedom
- Hope - By remembering the past, a younger generation has the chance of a better future
- Comradeship - Through shared experience and mutual support
- Selflessness - By putting others first
- Service - To those in need and in support of the whole community