By in Writing

Remembrance Day - a Bloodgrave tale

Seven-year-old Matthew Robertson yawned. He was doing an admirable job, really. Seven-year-olds aren't meant to be awake so early in the morning, except perhaps on Christmas Day. Yet here he was, dressed up to the nines, at the Bloodgrave West War Memorial for the Remembrance Day dawn service.

His grandad gently squeezed his shoulder. "Not much longer now, Matty," he said reassuringly, "Nearly dawn."

Matty's fingers played with his great-grandad's medal. This was the first year he'd been allowed to wear it and he wore it with pride in the chilly morning air. A few minutes later, the bugler began his familiar bugling. The gathering of around sixty souls stood in respectful silence.

Soon, a retired soldier began reading a short, much-read, anonymous poem, the words of which were helpfully engraved on the side of war memorial.

"Keep in your thoughts forever more,

The brave soldiers who fought and died,

For us in the Forgotten War,

Remember them ever with pride,

It was for our freedom they fought,

So keep them ever in your thought."

After the service had finished, after grandad had caught up a bit with his mates, grandad and young Matty stopped off at a local cafe for a cup of tea and a bikkie.

"Grandad," Matty asked, "What was the 'Forgotten War'?"

Grandad opened his mouth to speak, slowly closed it again, tilted his head a little to the side, scratched his chin, tilted his head to the other side, closed his eyes, slowly nodded, opened his mouth again, raised his index finger, closed his mouth again, opened his eyes, stared out through the cafe window for about twenty seconds, then turned back to Matthew.

"Well, it's obviously not World War One, nor World War Two, can't very well be the Vietnam War, definitely not the Korean War, nobody's forgotten any of those. The Gulf War is much too recent. I don't think Australia was really in the Boer War, so it's not that, either. I'm afraid I can't figure that one out, Matty. I'll have a look through my military history books when I get home and let you know."

But Matty never got his answer. You see, there was a good reason that the Forgotten War was forgotten - and some things are just best left forgotten.

Don't google it, don't ask old soldiers about it, just leave it be. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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peachpurple wrote on August 18, 2015, 10:55 AM

It is better not to ask old folks

CoralLevang wrote on August 18, 2015, 11:22 AM

Actually, the Korean War IS considered and referred to as "The Forgotten War." And that is a discussion most do not understand.

MegL wrote on August 18, 2015, 11:51 AM

Oooooohh, that sounds mysterious. Good story

Kasman wrote on August 18, 2015, 5:31 PM

In the UK that term is often applied to the WWII campaign in the Far East against the Japanese due largely to the fact that the European Theatre was awarded priority of supplies, material and manpower. It specifically referred to the Burma Campaign which lasted from the opening of hostilities to the Japanese surrender.

Gossamer wrote on August 18, 2015, 5:57 PM

How can anyone possibly forget that one, with continuous repeats of MASH? :)

AliCanary wrote on August 21, 2015, 6:11 AM

Ooh, this was pleasantly creepy. I really got a sense of Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery" when I read it--something that starts out on a sunny, pleasant day, seemingly normal enough, but then turns into something--else...

Gossamer wrote on August 21, 2015, 6:56 PM

I hadn't heard of that story before, but I just went and read it now. Ouch! (But I'm sure she had it coming LOL)