Thursday, November 08, 2012

Help Us Find The Pilot's Light

I don't know where we were. I can tell you where we were coming from and where we were going and where we ended up. But I don't know where we were. And I really want to know. I'm hoping some of my readers from the UK can help out.

We were driving, using a GPS, from Liverpool to Carrog in Wales. We decided to stop and do some shopping so we'd have groceries to make supper on arrival. I pushed the buttons and Ted (our GPS) guided us to a Morrisons that was relatively far afield from the road we were on, maybe 5 or 6 miles. We ended up in a small town with a big, but not huge, Morrisons store. We quickly gathered what we needed and while Joe was paying, I headed over to the toilets.

Just outside the toilets were an elderly man and woman sitting beside a table selling a variety of products with the Remembrance Poppy. He was wearing his uniform and sitting with an only slightly relaxed military bearing. I had purchased one before but had lost it and I wanted to get a laminated pin to put on my shirt collar. We chatted and I told them that my father had fought, with the Canadians army, in the Second World War. My dad had been wounded in Italy and had come to convalesce in England. The old fellow, with his wife joining in animatedly, told me that there was a graveyard near by where Canadian pilots had been buried and that there was a memorial there to their lives and courage.

We wandered to other topics and he brought up my wheelchair saying, "What marvellous things those." I glanced at him curiously, not hearing this often from those without disabilities, he continued to tell me that many of the men he fought with used a wheelchair either while recovering, or for the rest of their lives. "Whoever invented that chair," he said, "gave those boys their lives back. It didn't seem it at the time to them, but it certainly did over the years." I spoke about accessibility as a right for all, he said, firmly, that any soldier that comes home from war should have access to every part of his country. "You risk your life for your land, you shouldn't lose an inch of soil." A big white handkerchief came up to his eyes, it came away damp.

He asked me about my dad and I told him that my did didn't tell a lot of stories about the war, that he preferred not to talk about it. "The more you've seen the less you say," the old man said. I nodded. His wife looked at him, lovingly and in an instant I knew he had just told her something - the source of his silence. When Joe arrived they told us again about the Canadian cemetery and suggested that maybe we'd want to visit.


We do.

We'd like to go on Remembrance Day.

But I've spent hours trying to find it. And can't. I've found another in Wales at St. Margaret's Church more up towards the coast, but I've not found that one.

It would help if I knew where that Morrisons was ... I am pausing as Joe is examining our atlas trying to find the name of the town we were in ... and here's a possibility Soughton.

So can anyone help us? I will go back to the computer and start searching again.

Joe and I always mark Remembrance Day. We'd like to do it by bringing a bit of Canadian thanks to men who lie far from home and family.


sandi said...

Would it be possible to check the history of your gps to see where Ted had taken you?

Jayne Knight said...

I think it may have been Blacon. There is a Morrisons round there and a cemetary and there are Canadian Air men buried at that cemetary.

jayne Knight said...

we have a memorial here in Carrog and on Remebrance Sunday we gather there for a service. I will let you have details.

Faery said...

Hi Dave,

I think that Jayne is correct:

The website says there's a larger plot where only airmen are buried and a smaller plot for Commonwealth burials and servicemen from Poland.

Princeton Posse said...

Lovely thought, Thank-you

jwg said...

Is the name of the town on the Morrison's receipt?

Anonymous said...

Dave, what about these possibilities?

The latter is in Surrey. Do please post us on your Remembrance Day commemoration. Thanks for wearing that poppy - !

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.