The 29th of January 1944 was a Saturday. On that evening my never met Uncle George Selkirk – Royal Marine Ply/X 1550 was blown to kingdom come on HMS Spartan off the beach heads of Anzio. George was 27. He was ‘lost at sea’.
Uncle George (my middle name is George) like many young men, boys really, had lied about his age to join the Marines some years before. Also like others, George had met and married Miranda Waters. Their marriage lasted 14 months.
Every year around Remembrance Day I buy and wear my poppy with pride. I can’t remember Uncle George, as I’d never met him. But I can say thank you to him and all other sailors, soldiers, air staff and civilians who laid down their lives in war.
This year we find ourselves in Spain. It is with sad disappointment that I have found not one person, there’s a substantial expat community locally, wearing a poppy.
Some years back I wrote a poem about my uncle:-
In Remembrance of Marine George Hogg Selkirk PLY/X 1550.
Uncle George marched down the street,
At quick march, his fate to meet.
He joined up, lied about his age,
Determined to fight, a war to wage.
Every year in November,
Lest we forget to Remember.
In Albert Hall,
The poppies fall.
My Mum, his kid Sis,
Cried & blew a kiss.
One petal that falls down,
Is for George, & his renown.
(By William George Taylor)
Hopefully in future years more places will offer poppies, more folk will buy them and we’ll see more being worn, with pride.
Lest we forget.
Sir Bill Taylor