Smilers funeral and the Walts

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by sarnian, May 25, 2005.

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  1. Just read in the Torygraph of the last WW1 Cavalryman's funeral. There was a Guard of Honour of 'Re-Enactors' (Walts). I'm in two minds though - they dressed up in all the garb, fired a volley over the fella's grave and provided pallbearers. So are they to be ridiculed, prodded and scorned for being walts, or congratulated for giving an old soldier a poignant send off?

    Answers on a post card.
  2. I think the real answer is with his familys wishes.
  3. The 'Re-Enactors' are always to be ridiculed, that’s their main purpose in life.
    I’m glad he got a good send off, but why didn’t the army provide the guard of honour and pallbearers?? Surly would could have at least provided a TA company??
  4. I think this is in good taste and is to be applauded.

    Re-enactors can provide a respectful link with the past. I would suggest that re-enactment can sometimes be gratuitous, in bad taste or inappropriate - some (perhaps not all) of the German WW2 re-enactors on the Walt thread and more contemporary re-enactors - but I recall seing a WW2 group touring air shows and they were more like a living historical exhibit than re-enactors.

    Like many things, it is a matter of taste and judgement. I would also suggest that the attitude of surviving veterans is the litmus test - if they approve, then it is OK and if they disapprove then it is not. I imagine that in this position, it can be pleasing to see another generation take a respectful interest in one's exploits. Conversely, I imagine it can make the blood boil if carried out disrespectfully or sloppily!
  5. Do the Essex Yeomanry (his regiment by all accounts) have a descendant regiment still around and, if so, why did they not provide the pall bearers?
  6. There are Walts..Nakajima-san for example or what ever he calls his oriental alter-ego..and there are Walts of Great the Khaki Pals and these Vickers MMG Fan Club Wallahs.

    As I am sure we all agree, their contribution to "Smiler's" obsequies were exactly right for this fine old comrade. As were the presence of two terriers and horses which represented his love of field sports and riding. A great huntsman in his time apparently and a true cavalryman judging by his wicked grin in the photo! He probably kept the nurses on their toes up to the end.

    God bless the old fellow and no doubt we'll meet up for a pint of nectar in the Celestial Arms one day...gone awaaay!!
  7. I would take it one step further and buy the walts the kit they require if they are willing [and boy are they willing] to do this sort of thing. Let's face it with the cut backs we cannot afford to have real soldiers do the decent thing. In fact they could do low level guard duties without pay [couldn't be any worse than dummy paras/tanks/ inf they used during the war
  8. Well said.
  9. I agree with von shot and armourer . Its not our call it was up to the old chaps family . I think perhaps we should leave it at that .
  10. Never mind the Walts, that's a red was Smiler's last hurrah and God speed!
  11. the essex yeomanry has a signal squadron descended from it not sure what regiment its in though

    as for the walts if thats what he or his family wanted fair enough
  12. Pity the Cav couldn't rustle up a mounted guard or something - given that Smiler was the very last link with all the traditions and heritage they hold dear.
  13. Although I agree with Armourer on this I can't help feel saddened that his Regiment or the Regiments ancestors if disbanded couldn't have got together a body of men...

    I know I could be talkign otu of turn and they could well be deployed etc... but surely something could have been done.

    Gone all lumpy throated again
  14. Walts or not-an old soldier was laid to rest with dignity and pride. whosoever paid the tribute is not important. He was the last of his kind and the world is a poorer place for his passing. Perhaps next time we pour a stiff one we might raise it to his (and his fellows') memory
  15. Couldn't agree more. A bugler from the EY Association played the Last Post for him, mind.