Sunday, August 17, 2008

Burma Star veterans remember

After the Parish Eucharist today, we welcomed veterans of the Burma Star Association for their annual commemoration service, with their Chaplain Revd. Bill Barlow delivering, yet again a fine sermon to give us all food for thought. Numbers attending overall were about forty, including a dozen members of the choir and congregation. I learned over lunch afterwards that the Swansea branch (represented at the service by half a dozen people and their branch standard), is shortly to be disbanded and their standard laid up in the Swansea's Garrison Church. How long, I wonder before the Cardiff and Vale branch also decides to call it a day?

On this occasion last year, Phyllis Burns, the wife of the branch secretary had her purse stolen as she was sitting waiting for the service to start. It was a terrible shock to everyone. Two days later, Wally her husband died. He was still active, but ailing right to the last. The impact of this crime on him undoubtedly hastened his death. Does the smug thief have any idea of the consequences of the crime committed? Phyllis was there with us today, looking better than the last time I saw her. She announced that she is shortly off to a family wedding in Australia. While he is stoical about losing her husband, in his mid-eighties after a decade of ill-health you can bet your life that she'll be missing him all the way there and back.

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