Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprung.
Life, to be sure,
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young.
A E Houseman
Today – on the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour – is the Woodbridge Armistice Day Ceremony
This is the day when our primary school children come to the War Memorial on Market Hill hear of the past, and relate it to our present.
It is very moving – and a very fitting complement to Sunday’s Remembrance Day parade .
Today, the war memorial will also be rededicated by Lord Tollemache.
I chose Housman’s poem to go on a brass plaque on the new bench in the newly refurbished Memorial Gardens (you may have seen Town Councillor Kay Yule herself, working very hard planting and making good over the last month to make sure everything was perfect for this important time). It sums up, on the one hand, the mindset of the young who went into the first world war – particularly in those first months a hundred years ago – and on the other, the sad, overwhelming loss of life , and all the future they lost.