Although the Poppy Appeal and the formal time for Remembrance has passed that does not mean that we should now simply forget the sacrifices and sadness of past, and even current, conflicts. A small annual offering each year brings that home.
Still remembered after a hundred years
Each year a small tribute appears on the gates of the war memorial on Nottingham's Victoria Embankment. It commemorates the death of Private Christopher Brittle who died in Flanders on 15 March, 1916.
The private offering is always the same. A small home-made wooden cross with poppies and a note detailing Christopher Brittle's death. The simple note is to the point and reads:
In memory of Private (1744) Christopher Brittle who died on 15th March 1916 in Sanctuary Wood (Flanders)
Although the earliest photograph was taken in September 2011 the weathering suggests it was the memorial from 2010. It notes that Private Brittle is remembered on the memorial at the Menin Gate.
Sanctuary Wood is around two miles east of Ypres close to the Menin Road where it formed part of the Ypres Salient. The preserved trenches now form part of the Sanctuary Wood museum. During the First Battle of Ypres in n 1914 the wood was behind the British front line and was used for treating the wounded, hence its name. However the front line moved backwards throughout the war and at times the wood would have been behind the German front line.
It is a poignant reminder that for many families the losses of the First World War are still felt and stresses the importance of the time for Remembrance each November, and the times in between. It is too easy to forget yet there have been many more recent wars, most notably the Second World War and conflicts continue around the world even today. Why do we never learn?