We have a traction engine show in Pickering every year, usually in September. I remember seeing old steam rollers as a child, but nothing as splendid as this vehicle.
This Home Guard soldier is carrying a basket of Messenger (Carrier) pigeons. During the war over 7000 pigeon fanciers handed over their birds to help with the war effort. These heroic birds carried messages in special containers far and wide, they often flew in extreme weather, sometimes under fire, and they saved countless servicemen's lives. Every military aircraft leaving Britain was recommended to carry two birds, in watertight baskets, in case they needed to ditch in the sea. Pigeons were often dropped by parachute to help the war effort and large numbers died through starvation, exhaustion, exposure to harsh conditions, or killed by enemy fire. So next time a pigeon does the dirty on your car, don't curse him, bless him instead for his ancestors invaluable service to our country.
I caught up with the young Home Guard soldier who had been playing his ukelele the day before when I took his photo, camera shake, or rather wobble, caused it to come out blurred, so I took this one, I think he was on his way home.
Many men and women who gave service during the war did not receive recognition for a great many years. The Merchant Navy and the Land Army Girls are two branches that spring to mind. Also the women ferry pilots who delivered aircraft but had no means of defending themselves if attacked by enemy planes. There were many others doing diverse jobs, factory workers, munitions workers, farmers, firemen, nurses and doctors, and the ordinary people who carried on and pulled together in a time of great devastation. We owe these people and our Armed Forces a great debt of thanks for their service and sacrifice.
|Memorial Garden - Pickering Station|
|Memorial Plaque dedicated to Railway staff|
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