Around this time every year, amongst crowds of strangers in busy places, you’ll spot the familiar red and green dashes that are clung to clothing. Poppies. But after decades have passed and memories have faded, do we still remember the war with the same dedication? This year marks the 100th year commemoration of Armistice Day, and Lincoln is keen to pay respects with a number of events taking place on Sunday.
In fact, Lincoln Cathedral is at the heart of it all. Upcoming events there on Sunday will include a remembrance parade, an armistice centenary bell ringing and several services to remember loved ones that were lost during the war. The silence that falls over the country on 11:11am will also undoubtedly affect us all in our daily routine.
Member of the Royal British Legion, Dave Gasson will be remembering the war with devotion this year. He stands proud upon the top of steep hill with his poppy badges in arms. As he tells us about his own experience losing family in the war, his proud expression morphs into a sad smile, and he stares off into the distance as if tangled up in his own thoughts.
“I had a second cousin in the first world war. They recovered his body in May. He was in the battle of Jutland. His body was washed up on the shore and
last February a dog uncovered the grave and he still had his dog tag on. There was an unmarked grave that was marked as ‘lost at sea’” he recalls. Unfortunately, Mr Gasson’s second cousin was just one of the 1,198 people who were lost at sea during World War I.
The University of Lincoln will also be getting involved in commemorations. Carol Ann Duffy, poet laureate and guest lecturer at the University will be launching the university’s poetry anthology Armistice 100, which is a collection of poems written from students across the country to remember soldiers lost in the war. The poems will be shared at a lecture at the university on Thursday 15th, where a winner will also be chosen. Duffy wrote her own poem on the gritty, harsh reality of war.