Eleven Eleven Eleven

Remembrance Day was Sunday but today is the actual anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War, eleven o’clock, the eleventh of November. I was at The Somme and Ypres at the start of October. The cemeteries are full of gravestones like this one- the body of a man who was not identified.

This is a picture I took at Ljissenhoek cemetery, near Ypres. There are 10, 775 graves here. The cemetery was next to a field hospital, so unusually almost all the graves here have names, as the wounded were tagged or identified. It is also an incredibly diverse cemetery containing the graves of British, French, American and German soldiers, men from the Chinese Labour Corps, one of only two women buried in the military cemeteries (nurse Nellie Spindler) and the highest ranking casualty, a Canadian General, within it.

The numbers of the dead, wounded and missing can become too big to fully comprehend. It becomes much closer to home when you dig a little into the records and find the name of a man who has a local interest, your street or town or workplace. Many of these men were either volunteers or conscripts (willing or unwilling) who found themselves caught up in something much bigger than themselves and way outside what they knew. We found the grave of a nineteen year old, Joseph Smithies Entwistle of Darwen, a gunner in the Tank Corps. He died of wounds in 1917, aged just 19. His home address is a three minute walk from the school where I work. Students from the school are his near neighbours, a hundred years apart.

96 Tears

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? And The Mysterians ’96 Tears’

One of the all-time 60s garage rock greats, covered scores of times, it’s got that cool organ sound, and Question Mark’s great vocal. I got an original 1966 7″ copy off ebay a while back for under a fiver, which pleased me no end. The main issue now we’ve all gone digital and have our music in a big long list is…where do you and your pc file this track? Under artists beginning with punctuation marks? With ? spelt out as Question Mark (some of the records do it this way). The tag thing won’t let me label this post as ? and the Mysterians. Decisions, decisions…

Are there any other artists beginning with a punctuation mark? Apart from Prince and his squiggle?

96_tears.mp3