Today is Remembrance Sunday here in Britain and in the Commonwealth. Today is the most important day for wearing our remembrance poppies.
So I’m a little early writing about this month’s Woodland of the Month, the National Memorial Arboretum. Many people are gathering to observe the Two Minutes Silence at war memorials, churches and elsewhere. Some have gathered at the National Memorial Arboretum where an outdoor service is underway as I write this. Another important memorial service is underway at the Cenotaph.
I’m going to observe the Silence here in my home. I’m remembering my grandfather who fought in the trenches in the First World War and his best friend who died there.
Some people wear purple poppies as well as red ones, remembering animals killed in war. This year one animal in particular is in people’s minds: George Thompson’s cavalry horse which he secretly refused to shoot during the First World War. That horse has become legendary in a book, a film and now a play at the National Theatre.
In the last half hour before the Silence I’ll mention the Digging for Victory campaign of the Second World War. Our future Queen, Princess Elizabeth, dug for victory when she was a girl. As an old lady she’s still digging for victory.