Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy. This column appears in the South Wales Evening Post, Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star. Website – www.philevans.co.uk
THE PAST IS ANOTHER COUNTRY – AND SOME PEOPLE SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED TO TRAVEL THERE!
I was dismayed to learn that the statue in London’s Green Park (commemorating the ultimate sacrifice made in World War Two by members of Bomber Command) had been vandalised – covered in white paint.
The Royal Marine Memorial was also vandalised, as was the memorial to WPC Yvonne Fletcher, who, in April 1984, was killed by a bullet fired from the Libyan Embassy in St. James’s Square.
The paint-throwing cowards hid their faces beneath hoods, while they desecrated memorials to heroes who bravely faced danger and death every day.
I can’t imagine the vandals would possess the cool-headed courage that 25-year-old flight engineer Norman Jackson did on a bombing raid over Germany in 1944.
After coming under attack, the starboard wing of his Lancaster bomber caught fire and, despite being wounded by shrapnel, at a height of 22,000 feet he climbed on to the wing with a fireextinguisher!
As the plane travelled at 200 mph it came under further attack, he got badly burnt and fell off the plane, his parachute bursting into flames.
He spent the rest of the war in a prisoner-of-war camp and was later awarded the Victoria Cross.
There’s a growing tendency today for certain groups to delight in smearing major figures from Britain’s past – some of whom were, admittedly, flawed characters.
However,they were the ones who bravely stepped up to the plate to defend Britain and because they did we live in a country where people can try and rewrite history through 21stCentury eyes – a futile task!
Ironically, if our war heroes and military leaders hadn’t acted as they did, today’s naysayers wouldn’t have the chance to say nay!
Despite what happened to him, Norman Jackson was one of the luckier members of Bomber Command.
55, 573 of the 125,000 lost their lives.
It comes down to this.
Who would you rather have a pint and a chat with – Norman Jackson or a self-important, would-be rewriter of our history?
Love thy neighbour:
As a young lad, I was brought up in the days where everybody in the street on which you lived knew everyone else.
I am sure many of you reading this column can remember this time very well.
The good old days.
However, times have changed and, unfortunately, there are so many of us today that don’t know who lives on the street, or, in some cases, even who lives next door!
Gone are the days when you would pop next door to borrow a cup of sugar or your neighbour would pop in to share their copy of the local paper when they’d finished it.
My grandmother would always make the effort to check on her neighbours and get to know anyone new who moved into the street.
If she were still around today, they’d nickname her “Google”.
Keeping in touch with those around you was second nature.
These were life skills and values that would prove useful for all concerned.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to see this sense of community make a welcome return?
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk