Diane’s Thoughts

Diane’s Thoughts

Lockdown reflections from our Session Clerk

This weekend we have commemorated the 75th anniversary of VE Day, remembered the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in war and watched footage of celebrations as the country rejoiced at the end of the War in Europe.  People filled the streets rejoicing and crowds flocked to city centres.

The war ended long before I was born, but my parents’ generation lived through it and my Dad and Uncles all did their National Service.  My Dad was in the Royal Navy but he never left dry land and the furthest he got was Portsmouth!  His brother, my Uncle Tom Barrie, had a very different experience and served with the Black Watch in Korea.  The Korean War is often referred to as the war that time forgot: it was so far from home with very little news coverage at the time.  It was the last trench war with conditions more akin to the First World War than to the 1950s and is described as a dirty, brutal war.

Communication with home was poor with letters few and far between and my grandparents went for months at a time without hearing from their son.  One day a neighbour ran to my Granny’s house with the Sunday Post which had a photograph of Uncle Tom and some of his regiment in camp relaxing.  What a way to find out your son was alive!  My granny treasured that newspaper article all her life and I found it among old documents and returned it to Uncle Tom who had no idea my granny had kept the newspaper!

Just now, we’re all finding being apart from family and friends difficult but we have many ways of keeping in touch and there’s constant news coverage. I know not everyone can connect online but we all have phones and can at least speak to people, even if we can’t see them in person.  I can only imagine how my grandparents must have felt with no communication from a much-loved son for months on end and the joy from seeing that newspaper photo.

As we remember and give thanks for all who gave their tomorrows for our today, we also give thanks for all who are helping to keep us safe during this pandemic, the sacrifices being made and the outpourings of love and compassion.  But we know that it will be while before things go back to normal, social distancing will be with us for a long time to come and we will have to find new ways of doing things.  There will be no crowds filling the streets and mass gatherings.  It will all be very gradual but the time will come when we are all able to meet again – don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day!


Old Kirk