We Will Remember Them

Another update from the folks formerly known as There But Not There.

The Act of Remembrance

As guardians of Remembrance we are committed to honouring the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces personnel, past, present and future.  We look forward to the day when we can join together again in future Remembrance events and hope this will be possible in the not-too-distant future.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Dulce et Decorum Est

Sounding of the Last Post

The Exhortation

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We will remember them.”

“We will remember them.”

Two Minute Silence

Kohima Epitaph

You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today.

Remembering Charles

Today we celebrate the life of D-Day veteran and Queen Elizabeth Court resident, Charles Boyer, who sadly passed away this year aged 94.

Charles first moved to RBLI’s village in 2017 following the passing of his wife and soon became an iconic figure across our Aylesford Village. Charles was given the duty, and honour, of speaking in front of Her Majesty the Queen during her visit to RBLI in November 2019, as pictured.

Charles joined the Royal Norfolk Regiment in December 1942, aged 16 years and 11 months, but lied about his age and added a year to become 17 years and 11 months old in order to join the military early. His military records still listed him as 95 years old at the time of his death.

6 June 1944 marked the beginning of the Normandy Landings, also known as D-Day. As many as 14,000 soldiers lost their lives over the following days. Charles was there on that monumental day arriving on Sword Beach at around 12 o’clock.

In 2019 as part of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day commemorations, Charles recalled the journey across the channel to Sword Beach:

“All I remember is that it was rough. You couldn’t believe the noise, when you think, there was about 4,000 ships going over and how many aeroplanes.

“All we could see was beach and hill. All we were told was ‘run’. Just run across the beach as fast as you can.

“We were told we’d be in Caen by the evening. It took us six weeks.

“I was proud to be there, it changed my life.”

Charles was awarded the Legion d’Honneur, the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits for his actions on Sword Beach, D-Day 1944. Charles has left a lasting legacy at RBLI and will be sorely missed by the entire team at RBLI.

So today, on Remembrance Sunday, we remember Charles Boyer.

Father, Husband, Hero.

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