This bit of the blog is going to be an on off review section. Because , believe it or not – I actually like reading books as much as I like writing stuff
Think of this page as not exactly Jonathan Ross but not Michael Parkinson either…
I’ve currently gone back to two books I read in preparation for IWM North’s Book Exhibit – Once upon a Wartime
The first the Machine Gunnersby Robert Westall – is set in World War II and tells the tale of a group of war souvenir hunters, who’s unofficial leader stumbles across a German Bomber crashed in the nearby woods – with the Machine Gun still intact…
“Some bright kid’s got a gun and 2000 rounds of live ammo…”
A brilliant tale unfolds as the lad and his mates set out to aid the forces with dangerous and unexpected results.
The second War Horseby Michael Morpurgo – set at the outbreak of world war I , tells the tale of a young horse Joey, who is sold to the cavalry and sent to France, and Albert – his owner who goes to the battlefields of France in a mission to bring Joey back
Its a surprising tale – told by the horse itself and brings to life what happened to the animals sent to the front during warfare.
The book itself has been turned into a Theatre play and a Film by the film producer Steven Spielburg – well worth a read.
On Thursday, I went on a Group visit with the Volunteers from Imperial War Museum North to view the remembrance exhibit on World war one currently on display at the Museum of Liverpool.
On the way to the Museum, we passed the Walker Art Gallery and St Georges Hall, which is currently home to part of the ceramic poppy installation of the Tower of London that was created for the World War I Centenary.
(Apologies for the picture quality – I did take this ‘on the move’!)
The Exhibit we went to see was entitled Poppies : Women and War. It told the tales of Women caught up in conflict. Two significant names that shared their tales with Imperial War Museum North were that of the Intelligence Officer, Flora Sandes and the World War I Red Cross Nurse, Edith Cavell.
I enjoyed an Alfresco Lunch (that had travelled with me down the M62) and took in the grandeur of Liverpool’s three graces Alongside the Albert dock. You could say I had my first Christmas Dinner – with another Trio of Goodies – Turkey & Trimmings on the Sandwiches. As I was eating – I spotted the ‘Snowdrop’ making its way up the Mersey on one of its regular journeys towards the Manchester Ship Canal and Salford Quays
The next museum we visited was the Merseyside Maritime Museum, which told the tales of Liverpool’s Naval and Maritime Past.
A Training ship was moored by the Maritime Museum. It’s a Tall ship and is used to give youngsters opportunity to sail on the open sea. Brought back memories of the Ocean Youth Club vessel, Greater Manchester Challenge, which I was once part of the crew back in 1996.
There were scale models of working ships in the Maritime Museum, and it also had the tales of those who worked and sailed on the boats – in particular the Cunard Liners.
I went to church this morning at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Josephs RC in Ordsall, Salford, where we remembered all those who fell in conflict. The church Belfry was rebuilt in 1924 as a Memorial to those who died in the first world war and the Altar Windows commemorate those who lost their lives in the Second World War. A poppy wreath was laid before the Offertory procession.
What made it poignant was the fact the procession of the poppy wreath was led by the Junior members of the congregation. Alan, a senior member of the congregation gave the solemn promise that goes back to the original time
“At the going down of the sun…we will remember them”
IWM North will be commemorating Remembrance week this week, I wrote an acrostic last year in commemoration of the occasion. The link is below.
Red poppies sway in the Belgian air,
Ever in thanks for the selfless act of those comrades in arms
Making their way, from every village and town
Each individual, with dedication to duty
Made their way to a field in Flanders, a field now
Bearing the scars of war.
Reflect – and give thanks, to that
Army of Men
Never forget – the selflessness of all those
Chosen and called up to arms.
Each one someones father, someones son
A poem about the Field Gun, that fired the first shot of World war I. Normally on display at Imperial War Museum North, in Trafford, It’s currently on tour around the commonwealth as part of World War I Centenary Celebrations.
The Field Gun, Currently on a Worldwide tour commemorating World War 1, pictured at its regular home of IWM North in Trafford
It sits in its home
its seats as clean as
on the day it were made
Its Armour shines bright
like it looked on day one
but its many a day
its sat in the sun
As it lined up presented
by those men in the ranks
facing the mortars, the mines
and the tanks
As the generals gave order
and it fired the first shell
it started the barrage
and sounded like hell
But now, its retired
Amongst army friends
and teaching those lessons
never really ends
But note as you pass it
as you look back
the hole in its armour
from the enemy attack.
A poem about the Field Gun, that fired the first shot of World war I on display at Imperial War Museum North