Who Will You Remember?
The designer of the Remembrance Day coin for 2017, Royal Mint graphic designer Stephen Taylor, was able to feel a deep connection to this subject because of a remarkable family story.
Oswald Jones, the great-grandfather of Stephen’s wife, was one of the many brave men who fought in the First World War. After a long and anxious wait, Oswald’s family received news that he had been shot and taken prisoner. With Oswald assumed dead, his family organised a funeral, like many other distraught families across Britain.
However, the family’s sadness turned to surprise when Oswald arrived home just hours before the funeral, kitbag over his soldier. His return home from the Prisoner of War camp where he was held had been delayed, but he was alive and well. The funeral became a street party as Oswald’s safe return home was celebrated. Nearly 80 years later, after a long and full life, Oswald’s family held his funeral and said goodbye to their hero.
The history of conflicts like the First World War are littered with death tolls, almost too high to comprehend. Stories like Oswald’s remind us of the individual soldiers whose return was eagerly awaited, and of each soldier who never made the return journey home.