I currently work at a Ministry of Defence establishment and this being Armistice Day there is always a service outside which starts just before 11:00am.

There are a few thousand people on site, with a mix of military and civilian personel. The first time I attended I was expecting a jingoistic service, but nothing of the sort. Senior leaders and military in their uniforms is the closest it ever gets. There is very little pomp and ceremony to be seen.

Today’s service included The Last Post and The Rouse (unless I am mistaken) played by a lone bugler from a balcony. There were short readings by various people and the Padre gave a short sermon which mixed some humour in with a serious message. The theme of the sermon was for us to think hard about what we say, because the language now being used in public life is degenerating into dangerous territory. He reminded us of how fragile democracy was and how the way we behave can undermine it.

The two minutes silence took place in the sunshine, and my thoughts were with Private 43440 Alexander Solomons of 10th Battalion the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He died in the battlefields of Arras on Friday, 28 April 1917. His body was not recovered, but he is remembered on the Arras Memorial. I have not been there yet, but one day I will go.

He was my 2nd great uncle and I think I should write a post about him.

Family history follow-up

I need to gather together the documents I have on Esther and Kitty and send them to Eric Holdijk and Sue Harper. I shall tell Sue about Eric as well. I also need to write a note to the current Police Commissioner in Prince Rupert to introduce myself, ask for information and advise the coroner got the wrong age for Esther.

My grandmother, Eva Lichtenstein, died on 8 December 1985 and I would really like to discover where her grave is before that date comes around again this year so I can lay some flowers there. Her home was in Bedminster at the time of her death and the South Bristol Cemetery and Crematorium is in Bedminster so it is a likely location. I have a number and email address so I will send an email tonight.

Blog changes

I have set a new Journal section on this blog and am writing a few posts to see if it is something I can keep up at least weekly. Once I have a few more posts, i will publish to the internet site for all to read.

Another set of changes I need to introduce to the site include a google search of it and the use of tags and categories.

I should also aim for a post at least every couple of weeks, but before that I need to catch-up with linking from the jump pages to the real blogs, and then always remember to do it.