Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Dulce Et Decorum Est

My first thought when I saw this weeks challenge for Grungy Monday was that I couldn't do it. My wonderful husband David passed away just over a year ago, and that memory is just still too raw and personal.
Then I got to thinking about the other people in my life that have meant so much to me, and although he died when I was only 12, I still remember my Grandfather, James Hill, as such a kind and gentle man.
Although I didn't know until many years later, his strongly held pacifist beliefs were shaped by his experiences during the First World War. James lied about his age to join the army age 15, in 1915, and along with six of his friends was sent to France, where he fought in the Battle of the Somme. He was the only one of the group who ever returned to England, and the horrors of that time never left him.
I have made this card in his memory.

Anyone who has ever driven through, or visited northern France, cannot have failed to see the huge War Graves, and I would truly encourage you to stop and visit one if you ever have the opportunity, they are immensely moving, and a strangely peaceful place to just sit and contemplate.

The words are from the poem Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen, whose parents were informed of his death on Armistice Day, November 11th 1918. Roughly translated the Latin means ... It is sweet and meet to die for one's country. Sweet and decorous (From Horace, Odes, III.ii.13). Please, if you can, read the whole poem. In just 28 lines it describes the obscenity and horror of armed conflict.

I have made some poppies (using my Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die), which are such a potent symbol of remembrance.  Please buy a poppy if you can for November the 11th, as young men and women are still loosing their lives in the service of our country.


Helen said...

I had a bit of a moment when I saw this week's theme too, with it only being 3 weeks since losing Mum - definately too soon - and don't think I'll get time to do a fitting tribute for my sister either. Love those poppies, they are one of my favourite flowers anyway. A fitting tribute to your granddad.

Beth said...

Lovely tribute! Great job on the challenge :)

Artyjen said...

A wonderful tribute and your poppies are divine ;) I am in total agreement with all your thoughts and your grandfather's and no....I just cannot bring myself at the minute to join in with this either...I sobbed at the thought!
xoxo Sioux
Hugs all round I think!

Brenda Brown said...

This is beautiful Sue and a perfect tribute.
Sorry I am awol, can't wait till Christmas when I will have some time back again.
Take care of yourself.
luv and hugs {brenda} xoxox

Netty said...

A very moving and sincere post Sue and a very fitting tribute, as you say many men and women are losing their lives for the sake of others. Sending you hugs, Annette x

Jennie Atkinson said...

A beautiful tribute Sue and what a wonderful poem.

Laura said...

You have just given me moving shivers. What a powerful post, both personal and poignant. Wonderful make.

Ruby Craft said...

Wonderful Poppies and remembrance card in honor of your Grandfather.

Sarah said...

a very thoughtful piece - I studied those poems at school and think they are very moving. A fitting creation for Sunday.

Linda Ledbetter said...

Oh, Sue, I'm so sorry about your husband! I absolutely understand why you'd want to focus your art on someone whose parting isn't so recent and raw, and the tribute you creed for your Grandfather is just beautiful! You story of his war experience brought tears to my eyes.

The poppies and poem you included are perfect, and yes, may we all honor the sacrifices our of service people this month, and every month.

Thank you sincerely for sharing this amazing art and your heartfelt words. (hugs!)