Friday 11 November 2016

Church Island

Church Island lies in the Menai Strait, between the Menai and Britannia Bridges. A short causeway connects it with Anglesey. It is entirely occupied by the church of St. Tysilio and its surrounding graveyard. On the highest point there’s a simple memorial to the local servicemen who lost their lives in the two world wars. Without being at all remote, the quiet offshore location with its omnipresent signals of mortality is conducive to reflection. The war memorial is all the more affecting for the absence of rhetoric - the beautifully carved roll of honour with dates and places of death carries a lot of weight. Each name stands for a fractured family and the grief of relatives and friends. As the poppy emblem mutates from a message of “Peace among Nations” to a nationalistic symbol of patriotism, it’s a relief to be reminded of more dignified and restrained methods of commemorating human sacrifice than indulging in a phoney war with FIFA. 

 An English translation of the above inscription: "To the glory of God and in memory of the men who fell in the war. That their name will live forever."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very apt on this day of remembrance.