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Just fight your own battles...
12:36pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 in Letters
AS A naval veteran of the Second World War I followed the campaign of those who served on the Arctic convoys to be granted official recognition with great interest and am ever thankful that my own service was on warmer and less bitterly cruel seas.
However I feel it is wholly unwarranted of Bob Roberts to link their sacrifices to his own relentless pressure to move Andover’s war memorial.
Campaign medals are very personal and precious to those who have earned them and to their closest relatives and friends.
They should not be appropriated in any way by third parties for their own ends.
I fully agree with Irene Williams that the memorial should remain where it is though my reasons differ from hers.
There cannot be many living now who have actual memories of those who served in the Great War.
My father fought on the Somme in 1916 and saw his boyhood friend die by his side, later being wounded himself.
He never spoke to us of his experiences and only once wrote some sad reflections in the form of a poem.
He hated all things military even to the extent of preventing me (for a time at least) from joining the Scouts.
He was very bitter about that Government’s broken promises.
I still belong to a veterans’ association (CFVA) but have never worn the traditional blazer and beret nor attended any memorial parades, largely because of the sanctimonious religious aspect but that reflects my personal view and I have every sympathy and understanding for those who feel differently.
Finally I think that all respondents to these columns, and that includes me, should accept that they speak for themselves only and should be very wary about invoking “the overwhelming support of public opinion” to support their claims.
John Scase, Kantara, Abbotts Ann