In this time of coronavirus and lockdown it can be difficult to find things to celebrate and be joyful for, but this week has seen a number of wonderful anniversaries. On a personal note it was my 28th Wedding anniversary – not something that most of you will be interested in I know, but for me, an important day to remember and a reason to think back and be grateful for some wonderful years.
In the same way, on Friday 8th May, we remembered Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). There had been plans all around the country for events, street parties, gatherings and all sorts of activities that have had to be cancelled due to coronavirus. But that didn’t stop the nation celebrating this 75th anniversary.
There were street parties with social distancing, neighbours, many frustrated at being in isolation for over 10 weeks, drank tea with each other and were thankful for the sacrifice given by so many. And if you looked at the houses around the country you would see flags, bunting and messages of hope as a defiant nation stuck two fingers up at our current situation as if to say “we won’t let this beat us”.
And what of those that fought during the Second World War, sadly they are becoming fewer. But we have another reason to celebrate. William Earl (Blood and Bandages by Liz Coward) celebrates his 105th Birthday on 12 May 2020.
William, served in the Royal Army Medical Corp (RAMC) during the Second World War and (though he would hate me for saying it) is a true hero. It was no cushy job in the RAMC. He was on the front line, unarmed, saving and protecting his fellow soldiers, often watching his colleagues die beside him. As you read through his experiences you begin to understand the horrors that William and all those that served, underwent.
I’m privileged to meet up with William from time to time but, with the current emergency, cannot risk recoding an updated birthday interview with him, though I hope we can record an update when we are back to normality. Instead, I include a small part of an interview with William that was recorded with Liz Coward at the Museum of Military Medicine where he was speaking. I hope you enjoy.
Thank you, William, I hope you have a very special 105th Birthday – We’ll be thinking of you.
If you would like to send William a Birthday greeting then I’m very happy to forward cards to him sent via Sabrestorm.