The following is a guest post.
This year on November 10, the UK and the Commonwealth observe Remembrance Sunday, a memorial day established at the end of the First World War.
Fallen soldiers from the Great War onwards are commemorated around this time with parades, moments of silence and public officials laying wreaths at military grave sites. You’ll often see people wearing poppies as a sign of respect for those who lost their lives in battle.
The Royal British Legion sells these symbolic pins in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day. According to a British friend of mine, only about fifty people, mostly disabled British military personnel, work all year to make millions of poppies for this charity drive.
So as we remember those soldiers who have sacrificed their lives throughout history, I would like to share some telly moments which highlight the brave and bittersweet moments of the war to end all wars.
Family of Blood episode from Doctor Who
After doing battle with the Family of Blood and an army of animated scarecrows, young Tim Latimer (Thomas Sangster) has already seen the horrors of war. A year after parting ways with the Doctor and Martha Jones, Tim finds himself in the trenches with the Time Lord’s fob watch and a vision that saves his life.
Government statistician, Christopher Tietjens (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a principled and honorable aristocrat. When his job requires him to manipulate facts to support the government’s position, he resigns and decides to join the army instead. Injured on the Western front, Tietjens returns home to his estranged wife Sylvia (Rebecca Hall) to recover. In a rare moment of marital communication, Christopher shares his battlefield nightmares.
Black Adder Goes Forth
For Captain Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) and his band of inept comrades, the next “big push” is inevitable; however, Edmund is not about to go willingly over the top. In the end, however, no number of cunning plans could extricate these men from their intertwined, unavoidable and moving fate.
Downton Abbey: Series 2
Most of this series centered around WWI and its effect on the inhabitants of the Downton estate. The house gets repurposed into a convalescent home for wounded British officers and a number of family members become involved in caring for the patients in some capacity.
But the biggest sacrifice involves the enlistment/drafting of Downton’s young men, staff and family alike. Thomas (Rob James-Collier), the devious first footman, cowardly wounds himself to escape the trenches while heir Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) and his aide, William (Thomas Howes), sweet-natured second footman, are seriously injured in battle.
My Boy Jack
At the beginning of WWI, John Kipling (Daniel Radcliffe) who is just shy of his eighteenth birthday informs his family of his intention to join the Royal Navy. However due to Jack’s very poor eyesight, he fails his military medical exams. His father, famed poet and author Rudyard Kipling (John Haig), pulls some strings to get his son admitted into the Irish Guards where he is trained and swiftly awarded the rank of lieutenant.
At the Battle of Loos Lt. Kipling bravely leads his troops into battle, but subsequently his family receives word their beloved Jack is missing in action. After a surviving platoon member finally verifies that he witnessed Jack’s death in France, the elder Kipling pours his guilt and grief into a heartrending poem:
Carmen is an American wife and mother of two college students who live away from home. With her yellow lab Malcolm by her side, she watches and writes about British television for her own blog Everything I Know about the UK I Learned from the BBC. Read more of Carmen’s posts here.