This evening I watched Young Soldiers, a new short BBC3 documentary that follows the lives of four recruits to the British Army from basic training through to frontline action in Helmand. Those of you who are regular visitors might know that I have the utmost respect for those serving in our forces, as much as I really struggle to understand their motivation at times, I am fascinated by it though. If you are anyway interested then the documentary is compelling viewing.
This week marked the 10th anniversary of the British Army’s arrival in Afghanistan, during that time thousands of civilians have been killed and injured, 382 British soldiers have been killed and hundreds have been injured. On the 10th anniversary L/Cpl Jon McKinlay was buried, he was the 381st soldier to be killed in Afghan and my cousin’s former husband and Dad to her two children. I’ve chosen not to blog about Jon, despite how openly I talk about most things, his story didn’t feel like it was mine to tell. You can read his obituary here.
That said I wanted to mark his death in some way on this blog, and I came across an article on the BBC site about a new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North, called In our own words and it felt worth drawing people’s attention to. I’m going to try to get and see it, but take a look at the feature on the BBC – it explains the complicity of the conflict far better than I could.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
RIP Jon – Swift and Bold