I attended the opening of the WWI exhibition at Horsham Museum to comemmorate the beginning of the 1914-18 European war.
First of all, the museum has ‘jumped the gun’ as the conflict did not begin until August 1914.
One is at a complete loss as to why we should comemmorate the start of the war.
Going back to 1066, not one of the very many wars the British have been involved in have ever been comemmorated at the beginning.
By all means comemmorate the end of a conflict and rejoice.
CSM Michael Minahan of the 1st Battalion East Surrey regiment went with the BEF to France and up to Mons where he was wounded by shell shrapnel in the first days of fighting.
The photograph reproduced here shows him sitting by my mother’s bedside during the day of September 24, having been released from hospital.
Minahan died of his wounds during the night of October 12-13, 1916, three weeks after the birth of triplets leaving my mother a widow at 26 with seven children.
Some years later she married my father and added another five children to the family - nine boys and three girls.
There was a very strict rule in the house never to mention WWI in her presence.
She would be horrified to know that the start of WWI was being comemmorated.
This is nothing more nor less than a cheap and cynical political stunt to ‘con’ the public into believing the Conservatives are not the ‘nasty party’.
My mother had eight members of the family in uniform in WWII. We all returned home.
NORMAN A. GILHAM
Hon sec, RFC/RNAS Veterans Association, Horsham Road, Capel