Two Little Boys
Posted Monday, 10 November 2008 at 10:29
Yesterday - along with all other MPs across the country - I performed my most important duty of the year as I laid a wreath during the Remembrance Sunday service at Shefford in my constituency.
There was a strong military presence, as you would expect with the Chicksands base being only just up the road, and the service was organised with the level of precision you would expect from such an occasion.
It was a moving service which halted at exactly one church bell chime into eleven as the Shefford Band bugler played the last post.
I was delighted and surprised at the crowds who attended and lined the streets. They were huge in number and it was a very cold morning. Whilst they watched I did nearly have a couple of mishaps!
The first was that I was told to stay at the left shoulder of the DCOS and 'fall in' to the front of the parade when it stopped in front of me.
I was so shocked at how loud and officially the Parade Sergeant shouted right in front of me that I was stunned rigid for a second and was one step behind 'falling in' .
I hope Shefford Royal British Legion invite me back as I'll be ready for that Parade Sergeant next year!
On my way home 'Two Little Boys' was playing on the Radio.
I was immediately transported via a childhood memory from the car into the centre of a leafy wood.
I could see in front of me the image of a little girl, an otherwise 'tom boy' dressed in her customary trousers with holey knees and a cute little boy, his chin still raw from a dramatic over- the- handlebars fall from a bicycle; they were pulling the branches off a huge fallen tree, turning them into two imaginary horses, and singing 'Two Little Boys' as they charged noisily around a massive bomb crater left in the woods during war time. Both laughing loudly pretending to be soldiers using smaller twigs as imaginary guns and whips.
Yesterday the grown-up little girl laid her wreath in memory of the fallen.
On the drive home, on a day of remembrance, touched by the solemnity of the occasion, she couldn't stop the quiet tear; and she wondered at how that little boy had also come back to be remembered, through a song on the radio, bringing with him the gift of a beautiful memory, which had up until that moment unlike those fallen during war time or indeed the little boy himself, been long since forgotten.
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
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