Some Memories of the Javelin and her crew

These are some recolations, stories and snippets collected during the creation of these pages :-

2011.......saw a grave and wondered about the story :-

BACKGROUND - Retired RN living in Brittany near one of the graves of a Javelin sailor killed 70 years ago today. I've been in touch with him quite often. Because of our website he found out all about Javelin and why that sailor was buried there. Before discovering our site, he had often looked at the grave and wondered why he was there, all alone. Also, as a result of the site, he is now regularly in touch with that particular sailors grand daughter and regularly visits the grave on her behalf.

THE STORY - If Grandfather were alive today he would be 112!!!

In RN mess-decks the oldest person is known as the ‘father of the mess’ which makes Able Seaman Wright at 42 the ‘father’ of that corner of Guidel cemetery!
Seventy years ago today was the encounter which claimed his life and those of several of his JAVELIN ship mates. Sadly there will now follow five years of 70th anniversaries of others who also gave their lives for us in that particular conflict.

I just hope that if they were all alive today they would think it had been worth it.

It has been a beautiful day here, cold with the last traces of snow and frost all around. The sea was flat calm, bathed in sunlight and Mattie and I were the only ones on the beach. I placed pots of white cyclamen for Grandfather and the sailor next to him – “unknown” but not forgotten, either of them. The red roses next to Grandfather were still in bloom despite the frost and cold.

The grass around the headstones has been rejuvenated and I suspect that the flower borders will be given similar facelifts when the weather improves. All was very peaceful and each white headstone had its own shadow of white snow where the sun had not reached. Really very special.

I was surprised that there were no pots of flowers or poppy wreathes to be seen. Upon enquiring of the cemetery manager, I was told that flowers are only placed there 8th May and that poppy wreathes have never been laid. Most other war graves have flowers on the 11th, presumably from the local veterans’ associations. That there have never been poppy wreathes surprises me and I am ashamed that I have never noticed their absence before, nor the lack of local tributes, which is also surprising. There are too many men buried in Guidel for there never to be poppies on the 11th November.

IT IS THE LAST YEAR THAT WILL BE THE CASE!!

I will contact the Royal British Legion who I know operate in many places in France, and find out what is the usual protocol elsewhere for the 11th. Also the Poppy Appeal people in London and get a wreath organised for next year.

I will let you know what transpires.

My best regards to you all

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