This poppy is for my great uncle Edward Barker Pte G/ 62046 who is commemorated on the Plugstreet Memorial ( I use the Tommies version) near Wipers.
Edward was a keen cricketer and a village boy from Norfolk who had almost certainly never left the county-or even possibly his village. He felt it his duty to join the army although he vowed never to kill anyone else. Edward had no illusions, he was sure that he would not return, and indeed was killed on 13th April 1918. Because he was determined not to fire in anger, one might see him as a risk to the lives of his comrades, and hence that his stance was not morally acceptable. I feel, however, that we are not in a position to judge since it is impossible to understand the pressures and emotions felt by young men at such a terrible time one hundred years ago. I prefer to view his acton as one of ultimate bravery; far greater than those whose view of enlistment was that it was a “great adventure to kill the Hun”.

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