Honor, courage, selflessness

I never noticed an error. I feel tongue in cheek humor has a large margin of error.

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I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm’s way.

John Paul Jones

I’d originally written “Independence Day”, not “Thanksgiving”.

grin However despite historical differences, the relationship between the US and UK is a special one. There is not another like it that I can think of.

Much as I’m tempted, I won’t cross the “no politics” line (except in an historical sense). :grinning:

Excellent. It has no place in this thread anyway.

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Although Prussian General von Clauswitz famously said “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” So, that line that I’m not crossing is quite a thin one.

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Back to the topic of honoring our fallen soldiers. New thread topics are welcome. Cheers.

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Hi John. My wife’s great uncle Norman has lain in Zillebeke churchyard since 1914. Somewhere I intend to visit in the next couple of years.

Hi Robin. Presumably that’s Capt Norman Neill, 13th Hussars (but serving as Brigade Major, 6th Cavalry Brigade, at the time of death). Should be a doddle to research his war story if you don’t already know it - officers are always mentioned by name in the official records. The war diaries of both the Brigade and the Hussars should be online via Ancestry or the National Archives. And his service file will also be at the Archives (not online as at about 5 years back).

These guys have photos of all the graves at Zillebeke. They’ll be more than happy to send you a copy - for free.

By the by, I have two great uncles buried “over there” - one also in Belgium from 1918 and another in France, from June 1916. I have visited a couple of times and also hope to make another, probably last, trip in the next couple of years.


How interesting. My uncle Norman died on D Day. I’ve never thought to research him and the circumstances.
I’m inspired to find something out.

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And here’s a photo of our man. By the by, “Brigade Major” was job title, not a rank, and it was not uncommon for it to be held by a Captain. He was the “admin manager” for the whole brigade, in a similar way to the adjutant’s role in, say, an infantry battalion.



Expert information and perspective like yours is of great value John.


I’m on a roll with this. Found there’s a published history of 6th Cavalry Brigade of which there’s a digitised version here (although it’s playing silly buggers with me and not loading). You’d like to think the death of its Brigade Major might be mentioned.

(PS: finally got the history to load. Surprisingly, it doesnt mention him)

A couple of mentions of him on this thread on the Great War Forum (on which I used to play even more than I play here). It records he was wounded on 19 October. This could mean he was evacuated to a dressing station but not further evacuated if his condition was hopeless. That might explain why a post war history of the Brigade doesnt mention his death 0 he wasnt actually with them when he died.

Google throws up a number of mentions of him but worthy of note is that he is commemorated on the war memorial at Harrow, his old school.

Thank you John, and yes, that’s him. We have a copy of the Harrow book which records all their WW1 dead. It runs to six volumes. Also my wife’s maternal grandmother, Lorna Neill, lied about her age to become a Red Cross ambulance driver over there at about the same time.

Our very close friend is quoted in this article about a US squadron’s connection to a French village. Their mission was to destroy a German supply train, but the explosion destroyed the stained glass in the village church. The group stayed in touch, and decided to raise funds to replace the stained glass, which they did. Our friend and the remaining members of his squadron returned to Remy several times during the project and were warmly welcomed by the village.
He wasn’t 20 at the time of the mission, and told the story of having a terror attrack just before one of the missions. He went to the officers’ club where he encountered one of his group who confessed to wanting to quit, of being unable to go up again and face possible death or worse being shot down and captured. He told our friend that he was the rock that kept him going with his unwavering bravery, never guessing that our friend had at least similar fears. They tossed down a drink and walked out together to mount their planes. i have to wonder how universal this story is.
Gist of story here.


My dad’s pal, Frank, served on Lancaster bombers in WW2. He freely admitted that he crapped himself on every mission.

When I first landed on a US Navy aircraft carrier I wet myself. Apparently this is not unusual. They had a pre-printed certificate.


In “pilot speak” ahem, exciting landings are referred to as “Sierra Hotel” - polite code for sh*t hot. Why do I know this :woman_shrugging:

Not that it happened to me ever! When it did, I was too young to be properly scared…