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I will teach you about war

PUBLISHED: 11:14 05 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:11 23 August 2010

AS millions prepare to mark Remembrance Sunday a WWII veteran appeals to schools to allow him to speak in class about the historic conflicts. Joe Hoadley, 86, of Milton Road, Swanscombe, played a crucial role observing the German frontline after D-Day,

AS millions prepare to mark Remembrance Sunday a WWII veteran appeals to schools to allow him to speak in class about the historic conflicts.

Joe Hoadley, 86, of Milton Road, Swanscombe, played a crucial role observing the German frontline after D-Day,

But speaking ahead of Remembrance Sunday he expressed concern over the ignorance of the two World Wars.

He will spend the day at the Cenotaph Parade in Whitehall, London, with about 12 others from reconnaissance regiments he keeps in touch with.

Mr Hoadley said: "Children are not taught enough about the wars at school. The war should not be glorified but they should know what happened and why we had to do what we did.

"We weren't heroes, we just did what we had to do. We didn't have a choice, we had to go. There are no winners in war, no winners at all.

"I have been to some primary schools and they hadn't even heard of the war and that was pretty worrying, really.

"But, saying that, a lot of older kids are very aware of what happened and some even write to me now."

Held on the second Sunday of November, Remembrance Sunday is the anniversary of the end of the First World War in 1918.

It is followed by services on Armistice Day itself - which is on Wednesday this year - at 11am, when hostilities actually ceased.

Mr Hoadley, explaining his role at the Cenotaph Parade, said: "I'm the marker which means I have to muster the troops and stand on the right, wearing a name badge so that the press can see who's who in the parade.

"About six years ago instead of marching as an association, like the South East Normandy Veterans Association (SENVA), we started marching as a regiment - the reconnaissance regiment. Although, there is only about a dozen of us left now, so we're not too big."

Mr Hoadley was in the reconnaissance regiment of the 49th infantry division which landed on the beaches five days after D-Day and surveyed the German position.

He is a member of SENVA, which meets at the Conservative club in Spital Street in Dartford every second Friday of the month.

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