We were overwhelmed with the number of stories and photos we received via our social media platforms and email.
In honor of today's events, here are some of the stories. We hope that recording them here will help preserve them, along with the memories of the brave men and women, lest we forget.
My uncle, John Denham, was on Convoy Escort Duty on board the HMS Penzance off Nova Scotia during WWII. His ship was attacked by a submarine and Uncle John was killed and went down with his ship and crew.
My great-uncle Flt. Sgt. James Ellis Jones was one of three men who survived when their Halifax was shot down over Germany during a bombing mission. He was taken to a POW camp outside Berlin where the men risked their lives by sneaking over the boundary to get wood. One night, he was spotted going, was shot and wounded, dying three weeks later from peritonitis. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM).
My great-great-grandfather William Stedman served in the British Army in the Boer War and in other places. He died in 1969 aged nearly 100. He never forgot all the friends he lost during the Great War.
My great-great-uncle Fred, 38, was killed in action in France in 1918, after being shot in the chest. His name is on a memorial in France. He left behind a wife and five children.
My grandfather's eldest brother James Terry, a Sherwood Forester, was killed at the Somme aged 20 in 1916 and his name is on the Thiepval Memorial. We have a photo of him and a poignant postcard that he sent back to his sister Anne from the trenches. I feel so sad that he like many others had their whole life ahead of them which they were never able to experience. His brother Arthur was killed in WWII.
Sasha Musgrave Travers
My grandfather, Christopher Musgrave, fought in WWI, and had his own trench, apparently, My father, Richard Musgrave, served in The Poona Horse Regiment, and was in India and El Alamein , fighting with Montgomery against Rommel. My uncle ,Michael Musgrave, served in the Irish Guards and was killed in action in Anzio, Italy, aged 21 in 1944, and is buried there, along with his colleagues.
My father, Frank Embury, took part in the Bruneval Raid February 27/28, 1942, The people of Etretat /Lituell and Bruneval celebrate the occasion every year - this year was the 70th anniversary - and a new monument has been built on the cliffs where the paratroopers were dropped. There is also a plaque dedicated to his memory in the village, unveiled by my mother and me in 1994. In June, we were invited to attend the unveiling of the new memorial, our sons and grandson also attended and we were most warmly welcomed. It was a very emotional experience.
My grandfather - from the highlands of Lewis - was killed in Basra on February 22, 1917. He doesn't have a grave - he was just gone. I never had the chance to meet him, but I think of him often and the sacrifice he made, and the loss to my gran and their two little boys. Judging by the kind of men his sons grew up to be, he must have been a lovely man. Every year I pay my respects to him and to all the people in the services who have given their lives. God bless.....
Elizabeth C C Grieve
My great-great-uncle Robert Winter Patterson was part of the expeditionary force that fought in Greece in what is known as the "forgotten war" during the WWI. He died in 1917 and I never knew him. Through doing my family history, I feel I know him now and feel sad for him and his family. His nephew, Robert Biggar, son of his sister Jane, also died during war time.
My grandmother's brother, Mathew Goundry, was killed in Ypres in WWI. He was only 20. RIP, great-uncle Matt. We will never forget you.
Lynn Terrazas Dietlin
Don't forget the women in service. My mother was a Navy Wave. We were having Easter dinner at a restaurant two years ago and my mother brought us the Fresno Bee newspaper with a big article and photos of fellow Waves about what they did during WWII. We, the kids, read the article and our jaws dropped.
My Wave mother was a highly classified code decipher - copying coded messages from the Japanese. She kept this secret for 50 years. She probably would have kept it forever and not told us what she did if not for the newspaper calling her and asking for quotes for her friend's article. What a humble and serving generation that was. I am in awe of them, especially my mother. She is 90 years young and looks 70. She is my hero.
My great-great-grandfather belonged to the 87th Infantry Regiment of the French Army. Left Saint Quentin, Aisne, he was "killed in action," on October 2, 1914, at the Four de Paris, in the Argonne. His death was recorded in the log run by the regiment's commander. A few pages earlier,we note that he has been cited for bravery in the order of the regiment.
His comrades were buried in the Argonne forest and, according to my great-great grandmother, they scored the tree near where they were buried. The Argonne Forest was destroyed by the bombing and the body of my great-great grandfather, Louis Jules François, is still somewhere in the land of Argonne.
Louis, 33, left a widow Marthe, 29, and two children (my great-grandmother Yvonne, 7 and another, aged 5).
My great-uncle Edgar was at Vimy Ridge and was a trench digger. He was shot and killed just three days into his service and his body is now in an unmarked grave.
Kathryn Jane Pulman
My great-uncle was a pilot during WWII. He ended up in Stalag Luft 3, where he took part in "The Great Escape." He almost reached Denmark, but sadly was recaptured, and then became one of 50 men who were killed on Hitler's orders. He was just shy of his 22nd birthday. My son and I are reading through all the letters he sent home from overseas, so we feel as if we knew him.
We thank our readers for sharing their personal stories.
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