Yesterday we buried my Great Uncle Hilary “Harry” John Oakley, or “Hiv” as he was known to us, aged 95.
A normandy veteran from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Hiv was seriously injured during an allied attack on a machine gun post and left for dead on the battlefield. Luckily a young private noticed movement and Hiv was rescued. As soon as he was patched up Hiv returned to the front lines.
I was hugely proud to witness Hiv receiving the Légion d'honneur from the French in 2016. Established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Légion d'honneur is the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits.
Due to the current global pandemic, and with a very heavy heart, we took the decision to ask that Hiv’s brothers in arms not attend the funeral service as many of them are themselves in an age group particularly vulnerable to the covid-19 virus. Instead we intend to hold a memorial service at a safer date and we have produced this "virtual funeral" video of the full burial service.
This video is dedicated to Hiv’s brothers in arms of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
Through 6 long, gruelling years and at a cost of around 80 million lives, Hiv’s generation fought tyranny, endured unimaginable suffering and made huge sacrifices for all of us. Through it all they looked out for each other.
The least that we can do now for Hiv’s generation and their children is try to protect them from this global pandemic. See that their shopping and needs are met, but keep a 2 metre physical distance from them at all times. Educate yourself to the risks, wash your hands and do not infect the vulnerable elderly with foolhardy risks.
Look after our senior citizens, because they fought for your freedom. Now it’s payback time…..