ACA Woking News by Paul Holden, PRO

11 November 2002


Memorial Service
Members of the Woking Branch of the Aircrew Association visited Belgium over the armistice week-end at the invitation of the Mayor and Aldermen of the ancient town of Veurne. Departing on Friday 8th November and returning on Monday 11th November, the visit was co-sponsored by the town Shooting Club, which has several members who are Surrey and Hampshire residents.

Led by Alistair More AFC and the Woking ACA Vice Chairman, Eric Smith GM, the party of 20 included several serving members of the Royal Air Force. The programme included the laying of tributes at the military memorial, in the town cemetery, where a number or RAF aircrew are interred, and attendance at a similar ceremony at the Menin gate, in the town of Ypres.

At the invitation of the Mayor of Veurne, the party joined their Belgian hosts at memorial services in the town. On a lighter note, a presentation was made to the Mayor at a reception in the Town Hall and the gun club layed on food and drink as a mark of friendship.

Eurotunnel were extremely generous. As a special concession, they made it possible for the party to travel free of charge and in recognition of this a presentation was made to them. The event was recorded and appeared as a news item on Meridian Television.


It should have been said in a million words
although words cannot describe
the suffering our heroes went through so that we,
the future generations, could live in a world of peace and hope,
a world that they would never know.

It should have been said in a million words
because we are the voice of thousands
who cannot begin to comprehend the pain and despair they felt,
watching and waiting as their brothers fell to their knees in agony
knowing it was their turn next.

It should have been said in a million words
because how can we ever forget their lost youth,
A boy of fourteen, a child, holding a gun and fighting like a man.
What did he ever do to deserve dying in a hell that was his war?

It should have been said in a million words
but it is not said out loud.
It is said by the maple trees that were planted in the blood drenched earth.
A tree for a life and the leaves flutter to the ground,
just as the men who fell.

It should have been said in a million words,
not just three.
'Known Unto God' written on too many gravestones
as only God knows their place of rest.
Row upon row were massacred in Flanders' Fields where poppies grow,
and they shall never be forgotten.

What should have been said in a million words,
can only be said in one.

Laura Zoe Austin ( aged 14)
Written after a school trip to Ypres and the war cemetaries.

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