They did not grow old…


It’s a funny old world; I went along to a ‘school reunion.’ To cut to the chase, Barrow Boy’s Grammar School had two memorial boards for the old boys and masters who died in the two world wars.

When the school was demolished, the boards were saved and today there was a short dedication service as they were put up in the foyer of the Town Hall.

There was a chance to meet people who I might not have seen for forty or more years, and a chance to listen to a talk about some of the names on the boards.

Unusually the Grammar School had more names on the board for the Second World War than for the First. In the First World War, Grammar school boys were regarded as excellent officer material, and a high proportion died, leading from the front.

In the Second World War, apparently Grammar school boys with their first class all round education, were regarded as excellent material for air-crew. Again, leading and dying from the front.


And at one quiet point in the proceedings, it struck me that my Grandfather had gone to school with the lads whose names were on the first board. My mother had gone to the Girls Grammar School, and she would have known the boys whose names were on the second board.

And of course, I would have known the lads whose names were on a third board. But thanks to those whose names are on the first two, there isn’t a third board.

Because of the sacrifices made, not merely in wartime, but in peace time. There isn’t a third board because of the courage of people who took the steps necessary to keep NATO strong, and who were willing to take the steps necessary to ensure that conquering us was just too expensive for the Communists to stomach. Yes a lot of lads did die, in strange places, in places we’ve long forgotten, but there were never enough of them to warrant a third board. The fact that there isn’t a third board is perhaps the finest memorial they could ever ask for.


So I’d just like to say “Thanks for what you did lads.”

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8 thoughts on “They did not grow old…

  1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt April 29, 2016 at 2:23 pm Reply

    We owe them gratitude that can never be satisfied, and to keep working on the world – peacetime has plenty of problems.

    • jwebster2 April 29, 2016 at 8:38 pm Reply

      Yes, people forget how young they were

  2. M T McGuire April 30, 2016 at 6:48 am Reply

    Lovely post Jim.

    • jwebster2 April 30, 2016 at 7:39 am Reply

      Glad you liked it, it just came out of the day

  3. Alan Tomlinson April 30, 2016 at 9:28 am Reply

    Nicely worded Jim, and nice to meet you yesterday, albeit briefly. I hope we can arrange a wreath laying around Armistice Day, I’ll ask Keith if it’s possible.

    • jwebster2 April 30, 2016 at 4:14 pm Reply

      it would be nice to make a tradition of it

  4. Patrick Jones April 30, 2016 at 5:07 pm Reply

    Well said! Never forgotten…

  5. Cynthia Reyes May 2, 2016 at 12:17 pm Reply

    Well said. Thanks for sharing.

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