Memories of the Javelin and her crew
These are some
recolations, stories and snippets collected during the creation of these
a grave and wondered about the story :-
BACKGROUND - Retired RN living in Brittany near one
of the graves of a Javelin sailor killed 70 years ago today. I've been
in touch with him quite often. Because of our website he found out all
about Javelin and why that sailor was buried there. Before discovering
our site, he had often looked at the grave and wondered why he was there,
all alone. Also, as a result of the site, he is now regularly in touch
with that particular sailors grand daughter and regularly visits the
grave on her behalf.
THE STORY - If Grandfather were alive today he would
In RN mess-decks the oldest person is known as the ‘father of
the mess’ which makes Able Seaman Wright at 42 the ‘father’
of that corner of Guidel cemetery!
Seventy years ago today was the encounter which claimed his life and
those of several of his JAVELIN ship mates. Sadly there will now follow
five years of 70th anniversaries of others who also gave their lives
for us in that particular conflict.
I just hope that if they were all alive today they would think it had
been worth it.
It has been a beautiful day here, cold with the last traces of snow
and frost all around. The sea was flat calm, bathed in sunlight and
Mattie and I were the only ones on the beach. I placed pots of white
cyclamen for Grandfather and the sailor next to him – “unknown”
but not forgotten, either of them. The red roses next to Grandfather
were still in bloom despite the frost and cold.
The grass around the headstones has been rejuvenated and I suspect that
the flower borders will be given similar facelifts when the weather
improves. All was very peaceful and each white headstone had its own
shadow of white snow where the sun had not reached. Really very special.
I was surprised that there were no pots of flowers or poppy wreathes
to be seen. Upon enquiring of the cemetery manager, I was told that
flowers are only placed there 8th May and that poppy wreathes have never
been laid. Most other war graves have flowers on the 11th, presumably
from the local veterans’ associations. That there have never been
poppy wreathes surprises me and I am ashamed that I have never noticed
their absence before, nor the lack of local tributes, which is also
surprising. There are too many men buried in Guidel for there never
to be poppies on the 11th November.
IT IS THE LAST YEAR THAT WILL BE THE CASE!!
I will contact the Royal British Legion who I know operate in many places
in France, and find out what is the usual protocol elsewhere for the
11th. Also the Poppy Appeal people in London and get a wreath organised
for next year.
I will let you know what transpires.
My best regards to you all
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