We owe so much to those who
made the supreme sacrifice

Ewan McGregor  as Renton in Trainspotting - the gender neutral toilets Zella has visited are almost as grubby

ZELLA COMPTON: Men – just aim it in the right direction and we’ll all be happy!

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We lit a solitary candle and placed it on the windowsill of the front bay, turned out the lights and paid our respects to those who fell fighting in the First World War.

It’s hard to imagine the horrors those brave men must have faced.

On top of the atrocious conditions, there was the constant bombardment from artillery and the painful wait for their turn to go over the top.

How would I have coped?

I think I would have been a quivering wreck unable to fight, frozen by fear. Or would I?

Many stories have been recounted of the fighting during the Great War.

It seems that 100 years on we are ready to hear more of the truths of battle, not the delightful, but stupid, antics of Blackadder and his men.

If I had been alive a century ago, would I have signed up?

For the 2014 Rick it would be an absolute no.

But for the 1914 Rick, the world was a very big place. I would have had a low-paid job, would have been living in a small house with my seven children and kept a lodger to help pay the rent.

I wouldn’t have been very well educated, wouldn’t have been able to read a newspaper and certainly wouldn’t have travelled.

I imagine stories of the ‘evil hun’ would have stirred up my strong sense of national pride.

On the outbreak of war, I’m sure I would have thought the British Army invincible and of us being the world’s most powerful nation.

I would have been down the pub of an evening, joining arms with my mates singing shanties of our greatness, then off to the Recruiting Office the next day to sign up with the view of teaching the Boche an important lesson.

I would have had no idea of the carnage and sheer horror I would face. No wonder conscription was introduced in 1916 as the numbers of the returning wounded told of the atrocities.

Today the world is a smaller place and knowledge brings wisdom.

But we still owe all this to those brave men of 1914, which is why we shall never forget.