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Opinion : WWII Burma Heroes : They gave their tomorrow but Wycombe FORGOT them today

| November 9, 2014


On Remembrance Sunday there’s nothing worse than a memorial to those who made the ultimate sacrifice without a wreath on it.

Today, Sunday 9th November 2014, is Remembrance Sunday. It’s the day when, at 11.00am, the country traditionally remembers those who made the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy the freedom we enjoy today.

Sadly it seems the memorial to those who perished in the Burma campaign, located in London Road close to The Rye, has been overlooked in today’s Remembrance events and at well gone 11.00am it was still wreathless.

Wreaths were laid to the memory of the fallen at the memorial in the grounds of the Parish Church and at the plaques at the entrance to Wycombe Hospital but not at the Burma memorial in London Road.

When the Wycombe Today reporter and photographer visited the memorial to the Burma heroes just outside the Rye there were no wreaths present. Instead there were distraught relatives whose close relations had been involved in the Burma campaign and others whose close relatives had keen killed in action in Burma.

The first my good self knew of this tragedy to remember was when a call came through on my portable telephone from the Editor of Wycombe Today. In a jiffy I made my way down to London Road to see for myself this vile snub to the brave men who fought in Burma.

There before my eyes was the Burma Memorial. Two Remembrance crosses from relatives were neatly planted in front of the stone memorial but there were no wreaths whatsoever (see picture at the top of this blog). Immediately I burst our crying at the thought of the brave Burma heroes who had been FORGOTTEN on this day when we remember.

The British Fourteenth Army who fought in Burma are often referred to as the ‘forgotten army’ because its operations in the Burma Campaign were overlooked by the press and remained more obscure than those of the corresponding formations in Europe for long after the war. However today they were forgotten once again in their home town of Wycombe at the very memorial to them in London Road.

Some will say their sacrifices were remembered in the main Remembrance ceremony that took place in the town centre by the Parish Church, that’s very true they were, but surely one wreath could have been laid at the memorial to them in London Road and a soldier could have given a salute?

It is after all it’s a memorial to the fallen and this year, 2014, Remembrance is at the forefront of nations thoughts with 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War and the huge popularity of the ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ memorial currently taking place at the Tower of London.

One thing is for sure the relatives of those from this town who were killed in action in Burma did not forget the sacrifices of their loved ones.

There have been some dreadful things happen in Wycombe recently and leaving a memorial to those who fell in war without a wreath placed beside it on Remembrance Sunday is a complete, total and utter disgrace.

What do you think?

*This special blog replaces my Tuesday blog. My next blog will be published on Friday evening around 8pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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