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Remembrance at Harper Adams

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11 November 2022

This morning, a ceremony of Remembrance was held in the Queen Mother Hall at Harper Adams.

Led by Senior Lecturer in Engineering David White, it gave current students and staff a chance to remember former staff, students, alumni, friends and family and to mark Remembrance Day.

This is a copy of David's speech at the ceremony.

 



Before we have the two minutes' silence, I would like to remind us all of the significance of today, the eleventh of November.

We Remember that in 1914 we saw the start of the First World War, the war to apparently end all wars.

We Remember that boys as young as 15 lied about their age in order to enlist.

We Remember that some of those soldiers who were awarded medals for bravery later broke down under the pressure and were executed for, what was described at the time, as cowardice.

We Remember that on July 1 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the British suffered 60,000 casualties, of whom 20,000 died.

We Remember that by mid-November when the battle ended, the British had suffered 420,000 casualties.

We Remember the Battle of Passchendaele which took place from July to November 1917 where there were 325,000 Allied and 260,000 German casualties.

We Remember that at 11am on November 11, 1918 the guns fell silent.

We Remember that 40 Harper Adams students lost their lives in World War I.

We Remember that during that War, more than a million British and commonwealth soldiers and service men and women died.

We Remember that during that war, nine million people died.

We Remember that over 500,000 soldiers who served in the British Army have no known grave.

We Remember that war not only kills, but also leaves survivors - with mental scars, lost limbs, disfigured and blind.

We Remember that 102 years ago today the body of the Unknown Warrior was buried in Westminster Abbey. It symbolizes all those who have died for their country.

We Remember that The Royal British Legion was established 101 years ago to care for people who had suffered as a result of service during the First World War and that they continue to help the Armed Forces community and their families.

We Remember that just 21 years after World War I ended, World War II started.

We Remember the bitter Battle of Kohima in North East India, which took place from April to June 1944. It will be the words from the War Memorial that stands at Kohima that I will use to end the two minutes’s silence.

We Remember that as well as the army, navy and airforce casualties, there were members of the merchant navy, civilians, policemen, and firefighters who lost their lives in cities across the country like London, Coventry, Plymouth and Manchester.

We Remember that 77 years ago, World War II ended.

We Remember that during World War II there were 55 million casualties.

We Remember the 450,000 UK military and civilians killed in World War II.

We Remember that since 1945, over 16,000 British servicemen and women have lost their lives.

We Remember that 1950 saw the start of the Korean War.

We Remember the casualties from conflicts in Malaya, Suez, Aden, Northern Ireland, and Bosnia where British troops were deployed as part of the UN Protection Force.

We Remember the casualties from the Falklands War especially Flight Commander John Sephton, who was a Harper student from 1967 to 1970 and died 40 years ago.

We Remember that more than 220,000 British personnel served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We Remember that nearly 22,000 men and women have been medically discharged from the British Armed Forces for health reasons since 2001.

We Remember that 180 British servicemen and women lost their lives in Iraq.

We Remember that 457 British servicemen and women were killed in operations in Afghanistan.

We Remember that every Spring, once the danger of frosts has passed, the names of the service men and women who have lost their lives during the previous year are added to the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Finally, we remember that the Armed Forces Memorial has lots of blank walls, ready for future names.

 

 

"When you go home
Tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow
We gave our today."

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