John Austin, a proud member of the Royal British Legion, wrote this tribute during last year's centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War. Tragically it did not prove to be 'the war to end all wars' as the updated version of his poem, the generosity of the public and the ongoing hard work of Legion members all show.
John Austin, the son of a forces veteran, struggled with severe dyslexia and other difficulties to become a gardener at the David Lewis Centre for Epilepsy, and during the Poppy Appeal John always seems to be the one returning to the Legion office to pick up yet another container because his last one was jam packed. He is a heartening example of the Legion's motto of 'Service not self'.
I am proud, on behalf of everyone at the Legion and those whom we serve, especially at this time of year, to have this opportunity to publish John's poem.
It's almost two years since I published In Our Fathers' Footsteps (see under BOOKS). My latest book, One Dog and His Cop, about my cousin's police dog,was published 30 November this year (see under BOOKS).