TODAY is Remembrance Sunday and we will fall silent to remember those who gave their lives in two World Wars and other conflicts from the Falklands to Afghanistan. Quite rightly we salute the soldiers at the front-line but perhaps, and considering the times we are now living, we should remember those back home also; the civilians who endured rationing, nightly bombings and other hardships which we would find difficult to understand and endure.
Much is said of the Dunkirk Spirit but I would also like to pay tribute to the resilience of the people. My grandfather endured the horrors of the First World War in the trenches, returned home got a job and he probably thought that was the end of it. But 20 years later and the clouds of war gathered again. Every morning he would take the bus to work from North London to the West End with thousands of others.
The fact that London was under attack most nights and he was living in the basement with my grandmother to escape the bombs, never deterred him from getting to work on time, despite the perils and the destruction all around him. In the evening he would do the same return journey home and would spend part of the night on a rooftop armed with a pair of binoculars on the lookout for the Nazi bombers which visited London every night during the blitz in 1940, and then it would be down the basement. Others would seek sanctuary in underground stations.
Food was in short supply because of the U-Boat blockade and Britain was on the back-foot everywhere. But it was a question of Keep Calm and Carry On. The resilience shown by people during World War 2 was quite staggering. Not only in Britain but across Europe and beyond. If we can show the same sort of resilience as our grandparents or parents we can beat this pandemic and get our lives back.