We all have a “Bank of Courage”
Trench Warfare and the IOS
This blog relates to a late night Radio 4 programme, an experience @ THE TRENCH-Bodmin and a week in the Isles of Scilly – how is that for a random collection?
Let us start at the Keep in Bodmin on the evening of Saturday 14th of July 2018, 100 years on from World War 1, and my enlistment into the Duke of Cornwall’s’ Light Infantry 6th and 7th Division. I was kitted out with my Tommy helmet, a cape, rifle, pocket tin, a ration pack and dog tags with a name of a WW1 regiment soldier – we were travelling back in time.
Over 60 of us enlisted that day and were duly ordered and shouted at by NCO’s and Officers. We were then marched to the railway station for embarkation by steam to France. We arrived at the “Front”, crossing open ground under sniper fire before entering the trench network.
This was an audience immersive performance by professional and volunteer actors to bring a little of WW1 to life with flashes, bangs and debris flying in and over our trench. Armistice is declared just seconds before we go over the top and it’s all over – but it isn’t – as we leave the trench we see lines of crosses as we line up in our platoons. Names are read out a platoon at a time and these lost souls step to the front, upturn their rifles and stand in silence – the Fallen – my soldier would return.
We move on, listening to a late night Radio 4 programme, driving a large truck down the M5 when a really interesting discussion takes place. This guy had studied war and events and came up with a “Bank of courage” which everyone has, some smaller than others, but all with a credit balance. He explained how soldiers on the “Front” in the First World War could have extraordinary levels of courage but they also needed to move back for rest to rebuild their credit in their bank of courage. There were VC and Military Cross winners some of whom were kept at the front to guide the young recruits but in turn used up their credit and couldn’t carry on – some got shot at dawn.
What has this got to do with a holiday on the Isles of Scilly – well the basics aren’t too far away. We had a very busy year at Zamu with lots going on including redefining the business and starting up a new chapter of Business, Accountancy and Finance Services. Busy from many different directions and we got to the point where we just needed a break to recharge our batteries by doing something different. It wasn’t about doing nothing, just a change to build up our credit of energy – yes, with two young children we came home tired but our “Bank of Energy” was back in credit.
Keeping going can become self-defeating and we sometimes need to just take a step away to reset ourselves, clear our heads and get on with renewed vigour. If You are holidaying in August Enjoy your break!
Gary Perkin MD Zamu Ltd