Hello Cruel World
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Early Remembrance (1); pre-dawn 11/11/2004
Extracts from a small thing for Armistice/Remembrance Day, which I thought had a few aspects people may find good to think upon.
A life in three centuries November 11, 2004, by Jonathon King
Age shall not weary Peter Casserly. And, rather than being condemned by the years, time has made him a record breaker. He is Australia's oldest known man for one. Next, of the 331,000 Australians who fought overseas in World War I he is the sole surviving serviceman from the Western Front. For good measure, he appears to have notched up the country's longest running marriage - lasting 80 years and 10 months before his wife Monica died at 102 in August ...
"The passing time never changed the loveliness of my wife for me. She remained a beautiful blessing throughout our long marriage. But you know what my secret is ... Rum!
"I tell you they gave every soldier two issues of rum each day on the Western Front, but I knew my way around and used to get three and I've been drinking rum ever since - I'm still drinking it. It's a sure cure for the flu. If you feel it coming on, take some rum and in two days it's gone."...
Casserly was born just north of Perth on January 28, 1898, and has the birth certificate to prove [at 106] he's the oldest man in Australia.
A man of three centuries, the world into which Casserly was born is now long gone. Also born in 1898 were one of the discoverers of penicillin, Howard Florey; Charles Kingsford Smith's co-pilot Charles Ulm; billiards champion Walter Lindrum and the artist Sali Herman. There were only 3 million people living in the Australian colonies over which Queen Victoria ruled ...
After the war, Casserly helped with clean-up operations until his discharge on September 11, 1919. On his return he worked as a wharf labourer, timber cutter, sailor and fisherman before establishing a wood yard and then cray fishing business. He won a bravery award for saving the life of a swimmer who had got into difficulties...
Although Casserly returned to the Western Front with veterans for the 75th anniversary of the armistice in 1993, he always opposed subsequent wars and has only marched twice on Anzac Day - in 1917 and again this year.
Early Remembrance (2); pre-dawn 11/11/2004
Some poems of two wars
World War One Poets on the Battlefields: Blunden; Brooke; Owen; Sassoon; St Quentin; Ypres
"Damn all war mongers who lie to the young so they volunteer to kill + to be killed"
http://www.1914-18.co.uk/owen/ (Wilfred Owen Association)
Early Remembrance (3); pre-dawn 11/11/2004
Some non-poetry of two wars: Article (for members); Article (for members)
(Casualty figures 1914-1918; 1939-1945)
Until I can work out something grand & good -- this puts it into millenial vistas -- it looks like the only way you can look at these latter two is to download them. Any suggestions for simple conversions of complex Excel spreadsheets to, say, HTML tables?
I will try to write the piece on War Memorials I have in mind to put some flesh on the figures. This link commemorates some Voices lost to the world of arts in The War to End Wars.
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