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Notes from England
By John Lindquist
Hello to VVAW!
John Lindquist reporting in from Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire, England. More on why I am here in England later in the article.
First, I need VVAW to help one of its old members, Ann L. Bailey. Annie has been house bound for the last two years. A neurological condition has rendered her unable to stand or walk. She does get lonely and could use mail from you.
Annie was an early member in 1971. At the time, she was one of the few women non-veteran members and very active in VVAW. She was at Dewey Canyon III and IV and lots of national meetings. She was active in our anti-war struggle, the Gainesville 8 trial, War on the VA, and especially the Agent Orange battle.
Who could forget the VVAW national campouts! She did more than a lot for this outfit and could use some mail. If you want her address, email email@example.com. Sorry, Annie does not do email.
Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire is a lovely village in rural England. Old Minster and Little Minster were on the tax rolls in 1086. The Romans had villas in the area until 410AD. Our part of Minster Lovell is from 1857. We were a cooperative farming attempt to help try to let people out of the factories and on to the land. It was part of the Chartist Movement to get regular people the vote. You had to have land to vote. It failed because parliament would not register the land deeds. It did not work, but the village is still here.
We have three pubs. The best one is the White Heart, opened in 1588 as a coach stop on the way to London. I'm the groundskeeper and get paid in free beer. We are 72 miles west of London. The White Heart is a meeting place, once a month, for a Veteran's breakfast. They invited me to join. It is a great meeting place. We meet on the first Saturday of the month and on March 17th, 2020 we had 27 veterans, men and women from here and surrounding villages.
Our oldest member, Ken, is a WWII Arctic Convoy vet. Sadly, Patrick, our WWII Royal Marine D-Day vet passed away. There are other Royal Marines, RAF, Royal Navy, and Army vets. We have lots of Iraq and Afghanistan vets.
The picture I included is a mural on the West wall of the White Hart. It is a line of WWI troops. The Poppies of Flanders Fields. The line on the bottom is part of a WWI poem by Lawrence Binyon, For the Fallen. It was published in The Times on September 14, 1914.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Right now, just like you, we are dealing with the COVID-19 virus. We have it easier because we are in the country. The whole world must work together on this battle. Remember your social distance, and no hoarding!
P.S. My daughter Jessica was born in London, while I was in Vietnam in 1968. She lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. I also have a 12-year-old grandson. I do a lot of volunteering with the Wychwood Project and help clean my village.
John A. Lindquist, 3rd Marine Division, 1968-1969. John is a long-time member of VVAW.