We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

A Message for Remembrance Day

November 11, 2019 6:11 PM
Brendan Devlin in Yarm before Remembrance Sunday

Brendan Devlin at Yarm War Memorial

The Teesside Pioneers, 12th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment, was a battalion of friends raised on the banks of the Tees. Responding to the call to serve, they joined the army and because of their engineering and construction skills, they became Army Pioneers, the troops put to work making roads, building trenches, but also required to fight. The Teesside Pioneers served in France and Belgium, suffering such heavy casualties that eventually the troops that were left were incorporated into other units. The son of Russian refugees who had come to Teesside, Lt. Harold Bloom, 12 Battalion, was killed on 14 February 1917, fighting for his adopted country.

As we remember the wars that have scarred Europe in the past 100 years, front and centre, we must recognise the extraordinary personal sacrifices made by soldiers. Many never had the chance to travel in Europe in peace; they only knew war.

Today, we have peace in Europe, and even in Northern Ireland. If anything explains the current politics of Europe, it is the overriding desire to preserve peace. War is still possible, whether it be in Northern Ireland because we fail to protect the peace through neglect, or in the Balkan regions, where I have worked, and where ethnic and regional tensions are never far from the surface of everyday life.

Peace takes hard work. Lets work hard to keep it.

Brendan Devlin