Remembrance Sunday is a national day of remembrance in the UK, we remember the solider’s who died fighting for our country. For me it holds a special resonance, I am reminded of the reason I promised to give my all to everything, live everyday to the full and ultimately, constantly strive to achieve my dreams.10th November 2013, I was walking a remembrance parade as part of my cadet unit with St. John Ambulance. It was the first one I had the honour of doing. The sounds of the drums from the army marching band will probably remain in my memory for the rest of my life.
The reason for this is Archie Beaty, a member of the Scots Guards Association Pipes and Drums. Archie was a true was hero, not only did he drag his injured friend through a minefield to save his life during the Falklands War; but he fostered of 53 children with his wife. A man so dedicated to his army career, he forged paperwork in order to join whilst underage. Archie played the Bass Drum that day, a large drum that was truly the heart of the parade; giving the beat which everyone marched to. The banging of the drum began to disappear as we finished the parade walking back towards the British Legion. Though its disappearance seemed insignificant at the time, it soon became clear as to why. As we got back to the British Legion, a pale and sweating Archie came over to the St. John’s group, he said;
“I don’t feel right”
Moments later I watched as Archie went white, and the life truly went from his eyes. Archie collapsed, suffering from a heart attack. Despite the hard work of my St. John Colleagues, Off Duty doctors and nurses; Archie was unable to be revived and later died in hospital. Archie died surrounded by his friend and family, including the man he saved in the Falkland’s. Archie’s life has inspired many and he has truly given so many children the chance at a proper family.
I remember standing there as Archie collapsed, controlling the crowd as the adults tried everything they could to revive him, putting curtains up to give a semblance of privacy. I wished I could do more, wished I never felt as helpless and hoped for the sake of his family that everything would be okay. Archie received almost immediate treatment, and was shocked via defibrillator within 20mins; despite this there was no success.
Archie’s life and ultimately his death has taught me many things; the first being to live everyday as if it will be your last. You never truly know whats around the corner; if you live life cautiously its going to be full of regrets and things you wished you would have done. You will miss the chance to inspire people and change lives. The 10th November 2013 changed my life, it made me determined never to feel helpless in situations again. The heroism and selflessness Archie showed within his entire life inspired me to work incredibly hard to help people. I volunteered with disabled children, the NHS and local charities, inspired to give back to the community the way Archie has done.
It was also the time I decided to become a doctor; I knew I wanted to able to try my hardest to save people. Give people the change to live their life to the full, the way the volunteers and paramedics gave everything to Archie. Each time I hit a hurdle to becoming a doctor, my A-levels not being good enough or people not believing in me, I kept pushing. This September I go away to medical school, as a graduate medical student. I am doing something that I never thought I could achieve, until I heard about the amazing life Archie Beaty had lived. Archie was 56 when he died, there was so much more he could have done. So I will do everything I can, to be successful in honour of Archie, who’s life and death, made me want to be a better person. Inspiration can be found in the darkest of times, its what you learn from a situation that makes you a successful human being. I learnt from this situation, that life is short; you have to make the most of every single day and do everything you have always wanted to do. Be dedicated to causes as Archie was, and always be a good person. If you work hard every day to honour a person then you will always be successful. And though I never personally knew Archie Beaty except for the few moments I spent in his company; the more I learnt from him after his death, the more I was determined to honour the small memories I had of him.
“The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them” – Czeslaw Milosz
In memory of Archie Beaty.
That was a beautifully written and heartfelt guest post from the wonderful Abigail. I’m so thankful to Abigail for sharing this and allowing me to post it on my blog. This must not have been an easy post to write, sharing such a deep experiencing and reflecting on how it has changed her for the better, I’m truly inspired and touched.
I’m Abigail, a soon to be graduate medical student leading people through the twists and turns that is my life. I blog about my studies, lifestyle and baking obsession. I write about my inspirations and failures in life, showing everyone that normal’s overrated. Join me as I learn from life’s misadventures and grow into the person I really want to be.
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