Dulce est decorum est…

You’d have to be a stone not to be moved by Mr Allingham, at 109 years of age (and not really looking it) the UK’s oldest war veteran. Not only one of the very few left now from World War I, Mr Allingham he is a survivor of the battle of Jutland (one of the few major surface engagements – the Kaiser’s navy claimed victory because they inflicted more damage, the Royal Navy claimed victory because the Germans sailed home and didn’t come out to play again) and also the last remaining founding member of the youngest of our armed forces, the Royal Air Force (which only 20 years later would be tested in fire as no service ever had been, not only protecting the nation but by winning a pivotal moment changing the fate of the free world).

I thought about marking Rememberance Day with a piece of war poetry as I did last year. But then as I was going through some of my digital photographs I came across this one I took in the old graveyard a few minutes from my home in Edinburgh. It marks the resting place of two members of the Royal Scots, one of the elite regiments of the British army. More specifically James Allan who fell in the Great War – the War to End All Wars. He is joined by his son, also James Allan who fell in the war after that. And I realised this unassuming little tombstone in my local graveyard expresses the pity of war more than anything else I can say, so I shall leave you with it and leave the blog in silence for the remainder of the day.