Sunday 10th. November, 2013 – Remembrance Sunday 

Rachel, Cathy and Mum make their way to Gavinton Church

Rose, walked Mix, showered and changed, breakfasted and set off for the service at Gavinton Church. The minister, Ann, was indisposed and so the service was conducted by Ken Walker who was to have been sharing in a joint service elsewhere with his wife. He had been called in at the last moment to cover for Ann. I enjoyed his service which presented the contrasts which different places experience – the plain of Jezreel for example which saw great battles and also prosperity and harmony. The world is like that. We stand on history – I reflected that over this last week we have crossed back and forwards into England to visit Holy Island, to go to the theatre at Berwick, and yet, in times past this was a little bit of Britain which was fiercely fought over (as the recent Flodden commemorations record). When will we ever learn? Ken reminded us of the importance of our remembering those who had lost their lives and those whose lives were different as a result of war.

The service was followed by a simple ceremony at the war memorial at 11 a.m. and I found my mind straying to Arrochar where (I still think of them as my people) will have been standing silently at the memorial there.

Ken read the poem which was always part of our Luss remembering:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Back home we set about ransacking the barns to find Rachel’s ‘cello – eventually discovering it deep in a barn, inside one of the wardrobes there. I did a little tidying in the study and soon it was time to change back into my Sunday clothes to go off to Fogo for the Remembrance Service there at 3.30 p.m.

Fogo Kirk in the late afternoon sunshine

The Church at Fogo is a delightful old building – the pews are high and compel one to sit very upright; the congregation is small (well the population of the village is just twenty-two) but since we discovered that we belong to its parish we determined to attend today. The service was conducted by Alan Cartwright, the minister; it was quite different from the morning service, but just as meaningful with a message based on the importance of remembering and with the wreath being laid at the memorial after the service by Alan’s son in his RAF uniform. We read from Ecclesiasticus ‘Let us now praise famous men’ – which to me is always part of a remembrance service.

After the service we drove home and walked the dogs as it was just beginning to get dark. As we arrived home, Scott and Sue arrived with Sue’s parents and we all shared in afternoon tea in the farm house.

Later, after our visitors had left, we dined on home-made fishcakes and fried potatoes and beans, followed by ice cream and banana; and later still, in the granary, in front of the roaring stove, Rachel and I, with Cathy and Mum, watched the final part of Downton Abbey and the news before walking the dogs and retiring to bed. It had been a very special day.


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