A guest post by Brenda Orsler
There is no Government in Belgium and yet The Flemish Anti-Cancer League has forced the Belgian court to overturn the exemptions that allowed smoking there in bars that serve no food. From July 1st 2011 there will be a total blanket ban in all bars and cafes.
When German forces invaded Belgium in 1914 Britain ordered Germany to withdraw immediately, Germany refused and The United Kingdom declared war on Germany on the afternoon of August 4, 1914.
Belgium’s cemeteries and fields are the final resting place for hundreds of thousands of soldiers that probably spent their last days with just one comfort. The humble cigarette shared with a comrade.
Such was the importance of smoking to the British soldiers that Princess Mary sent a gift to the serving troops. Officers and men on active service afloat, or at the front, received a box containing a combination of pipe, lighter, 1 oz of tobacco and twenty cigarettes in distinctive yellow monogrammed wrappers.
Many of the soldiers killed in Belgium have descendants from all around the world that visit the Battlefields. They must wonder why their Grandfathers and Great Grandfathers bothered to fight for the freedom of a country that now can vilify people that enjoy a cigarette.
British soldiers WW1 1915 with 6 of the soldiers smoking a cigarette.
On the back it is postmarked 'LOUGHBOROUGH 9.30PM 16 AUG 15' and addressed to a 'Miss Grant' in Leicester and says -
'Dear Aunt, thanks very much for the present you left me, so I will smoke your health. I thought you might like some of these as it is the last one I have.How, I wonder would Belgium have fared if they had refused to let smokers come and fight for its freedom from Nazi Germany.