I like talking to the dead, they don’t answer back. I like stories about the dead from the First War War. Sure I like the stock in trade stories of bravery, the tales of valour.
The glory as well as the sadness of it all. Some story tellers can make it so real you are there. Close your eyes and be with them. Listen and you can hear about their lives and feel their fears. Every tombstone tells a story.
The Under age boy soldiers their story is there. The Women who died. Their story is there. The Canadians, the Americans, the Germans, the Unknowns also have their stories there all you have to do is listen and see with your eyes closed.
Run your hands over the names of the missing feel the stories in the walls. It’s wonderful the soil is enriched with their tales. I love going to these places. Every tombstone tells a story.
At your local cemetery go read them, they are here too. Read the stories on the graves. Take part in the CWCG Living Memories project it is a wonderful excuse to find out another cracking story. It is an event happening in a cemetery near you. Every tombstone has a story.
So you live in the colonies and the CWCG doesn’t have a Living Memories project near you. Do it anyway, Every…W Moss, nearly forgot, W. Moss one of the least, we forget them.
People like old Moss make us uncomfortable. We want them to go away, not be there. We fidget shuffle away. The others we can tell their story. It’s carved in stone in front of us. We can wave our arms and point to the mass-graves. The endless rows of war graves, stand quietly for two minutes as a mark of respect, or because everyone else is doing it. Dwell on the reality of war. But it is not there, that is not the reality of war.
W. Moss is. Others you can tell their story. Were they heroes or villains. What they did before the war. But not W. Moss. W. Moss, might have just about been able to smile. He could grip your finger or hair. slept a lot. That’s about it.
Walter Moss 2 months old. Killed by a bomb which fell on Tontine Street, Folkestone, 25th May 1917. Buried with his mother in “C New Ground. St Martins Church, Cheriton, Kent. Their grave is unmarked, every tombstone tells a story, as does every unmarked grave. Still makes me cry.
Author: Peter Anderson (WW1 Blog)