Darkness and Light, Birthdays and Crocodiles.
I try not to watch the news throughout the day or in the morning, I find sometimes they over report on events and if I'm not in a great place mentally, it can affect me. I'll watch the Government update at round 5pm to get the news straight from the source, then call it a day.
This morning I felt I needed to switch the TV on and watch BBC Breakfast. I find it very frustrating that only what seems like a few weeks ago the media were pressurising and slating the Government for not putting us on a full lockdown. The lockdown is given and now this week there is a call to ease the lockdown even though deaths are still rising and the UK death toll is the third worst in the world. Am I missing something?
Anyway, I'm not here to start a debate, there are plenty of platforms people can do that on. Before that news came on, there was a feature on Captain Tom Moore, or should I say Colonel Tom Moore. The Queen has promoted Captain Tom Moore for his 100th Birthday, which is today.
Where there is darkness there is light. Colonel Tom Moore is the light this morning. I realised as I was watching the feature I was smiling, then I had a tear in my eye. He is an inspiration.
This is a man who fought for his Country. With VE Day fast approaching, it is important we never forget what all the men and women did for us during the Wars.
Colonel Tom, served in the Second World War from 1939-1946. He fought in two battles, The Burma Campaign and the Battle of Ramree Island.
*The Burma Campaign was in South East Asia. The Armies that fought in the campaign in Burma are often referred to as the forgotten army because it was overlooked by the press. Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Southeast Asia on 15th December 1943 addressed the men of the 25th Dragons:
"I know you think of yourselves as the Forgotten Army, well let me tell you, you're not forgotten...nobody even knows you're here!" Luckily thanks to our British humour and wit, it had the intended affect and made the men laugh.
Ramree Island is an Island off the Burma Coast. The Island was captured by the Imperial Japanese Army early in 1942. In 1945 Colonel Tom's regiment, the146th Squadron, along with the 26th Indian Infantry Division and the 3 Commando Brigade launched an attack to retake the Island and its neighbour Cheduba Island.
They did this successfully with no casualties for the Allies. The Imperial Japanese Army were not so lucky. Refusing to surrender, nearly 1,000 Japanese troops retreated into the dense swamps that covered around 10 miles of Ramree. Swamps where swarms of mosquitos, poisonous spiders, snakes, scorpions and crocodiles that can grow up to 20 feet long with the ability to kill a man, resided. It was reported one night that a British Soldier heard panicked screams and gun shots, shouts of terror from the Japanese troops. They had been attacked and killed by the crocodiles.*
I would imagine the Allies were shocked but also relieved that they managed to avoid the crocodiles on arrival at the Island.
Colonel Tom was awarded four medals for his war service, 1939-1945 Star, Burma Star, War Medal 1939-1945 and the Defence Medal. I think we can all agree they are well deserved.
And BBC Breakfast have just released footage of Colonel Tom when he appeared in an episode of Blankety Blank! What a legend!
Happy 100th Colonel/Captain Tom and thank you.
*credit Wikapedia and BBC Breakfast for the information.