Good evening everyone, tonight we are in Ouistreham, Normandy.
I am really having trouble getting going with this post, partly because today has been quite an emotional roller coaster ride. Firstly was the sheer unbridled joy of being out on my beloved Harley, letting her do what she does best, munching the miles on open French roads!
Next we came down to earth with a massive bump, our appointment was at Banneville la Campagne War Cemetery, where Mrs Dookes Grandfather is buried.
This is the first War Cemetery that I have ever visited and it has left a deeply indelible impression on me. There are just over two thousand men buried at Banneville, sobering enough, but this is not classed as a large cemetery! Lying next to a small wood, the place has an serene sense of peacefulness, although the sounds of the world bustle from beyond. As we walked around silently reading the many inscriptions, skylarks sang in the sky above us and the scent of spring flowers wafted in the air. This truly is a sacred place.
Our mission was to deliver three crosses and poppies, from the family back in Cornwall, to Grandfather’s grave. In addition I placed some Cornish Granite chippings in the ground with them. I took the opportunity to introduce myself to him and explain why I was there, it was incredibly moving and I have tears in my eyes as I write this ten hours later. I hope you understand that I am not posting a photograph of his grave, it’s to personal, a private thing and not for the world of cyberspace.
I’ll leave this post with one more photograph, this is the Grave next to Grandfather. It’s not at all unusual, there are sadly many, many, more just like this. Who ever you are reading this, where ever you are and what ever you believe in, please spend a minute pondering this photograph and reflect on the inhumanity and plain stupidity of war. Then thank your God that you are free.