Letters: Those who stood with us, whether from the U.S.A. or from Greece and it’s many islands, were and will be friends

Endcliffe Park
Endcliffe Park

A few months ago Tony Foulds by chance met Dan Walker, BBC TV Breakfast presenter in Endcliffe Park in Sheffield, at a memorial Tony was tending, raised to commemorate the bravery of 10 US airmen who died when their returning bomber crashed there on 22 February 1944.  At that date I was just 10 years old, born in Sheffield, but then living 10 miles north of Sheffield in Wath-upon-Dearne.

A few months ago Tony Foulds by chance met Dan Walker, BBC TV Breakfast presenter in Endcliffe Park in Sheffield, at a memorial Tony was tending, raised to commemorate the bravery of 10 US airmen who died when their returning bomber crashed there on 22 February 1944.  At that date I was just 10 years old, born in Sheffield, but then living 10 miles north of Sheffield in Wath-upon-Dearne.

The story somehow reminded me of when my wife and I went for a walk with a couple of friends after dinner in our hotel on the Island of Crete.  As we walked inland we were about to be passed by a Cretan man who heard us speaking English, who stopped and turned to us and said, “You English. You my friends.” 

During the Second World War we were not fighting a people, we were fighting an ideology created by the Natzi regime in central Europe.  Those who stood with us, whether from the U.S.A. or from Greece and it’s many islands, were and will be friends.  As John Donne, Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral wrote in 1624,

         “No man is an island entire of itself;

        But a piece of the continent, a part of the main;

        if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe

        is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as if

        a manor of thy friends or of thine own were;

        any man's death diminishes me,

        because I am involved in mankind.

        And therefore

        never send to know for whom the bell tolls;

        it tolls for thee.” 

Edward Wilkinson

Made in Sheffield