Saturday, November 11, 2006

We Will Remember Them

My Grandpa's older brother, William, lied about his age to join up, he was only 15yrs. William died only a year later in France on 27th Sept. 1915 ~ he fought with the Durham Light Infantry.
There were eyewitnesses to his death, blown to bits by a mortar shell, his mother got the news. She cried on her husband's shoulder, " Oh William, how will we go on?" My g.grandfather replied, "by the grace of God we will go on." There is no grave but a memorial exists at Loos-en-Gohelle on the Pas de Calais. Proportionately more Scots volunteered for the 1914 British Expeditionary Force (BEF) than any other home nation. It was a minor force of just six divisions and massively outgunned by the German forces. In the early days of 1914 it suffered massive losses leading up to the defensive action at Ypres ( the first one). The flags were waving at home but the carnage had already begun.
During this same year my grandpa lost his wee sister, Mary(11mths) and his father (age 38).
My grandpa immediately became the breadwinner of the family and at the age of 14 left school to work in a bakery, then the steel works, and then he went down the pits (coal mining). There was still 12 of a family to feed! His younger brother, Arthur worked as a ‘Roller’ in the steelworks too.
My grandpa was always very sad about his brother, they were so close in age. My grandpa died in 1989. I think of all the years that he had compared to William.
So many many young men, on both sides, from so many nations died during these wars. G. and l both lost family.
We will remember them.

In Flander's Fields by Lt.Col. John McCrae 1915
..read by my G. on video below.



My grandpa (James) is pictured on a post below walking with granny (Jessie).

13 comments:

Tammy said...

thank Himself for reading the poem and helping us remember today!!
(((hugs)))

Pamela said...

My goodnes gracious, what a life story your Gpa lead. What an enormous responsibility to have put on ones shoulders at the age of 14. Losing Will at 15...my heart just bleeds for what his dear mother must have felt. Your family must be just as proud as can be... Thanks to the brave men in your family and mine. This world is a better place! I am so proud and words could not express my sincere gratitude! My great Uncle died in the French Revolutionary war and my Gpa, my father, and my son all served as well! Thanks for a great post!

Sling said...

Very moving horizon.
We have a military tradition in my family as well,so I do appreciate the sacrifices our service men and women have made.

Cathy said...

My grandfather went to Edinburgh in WWI to train for the front in Germany. He flew out of Scotland on the last plane to head to Germany when the war was proclaimed over while they were in the air. His story made many local newspapers in Nova Scotia at the time.

He always spoke fondly of Scotland and his time there (albeit the purpose was far from a vacation)...

Lest We Forget.

LZ Blogger said...

Wars are always fought by the young and controlled by the old. But GOD always knows what the plan is! And it always works for His GLORY! ~ jb///

Merle said...

Hi Horizon ~ This is a terrific post for Remembrance Day. I saw it the other day and watched the video which was great. My son sent it to me too. Thanks for your comments, glad you liked the Aussie
story etc. I do hope you have recovered from the bug you had, and feeling good again. Take care, y friend, Love,Merle.

PEA said...

Good morning dear Horizon...I'm finally catching up on some posts I've missed, had a busy weekend:-) I loved listening to your hubby narrating Flander's Field...well done! Your family certainly did see a lot of heartbreak during the wars and how very sad that some never came home alive. The sacrifices these men and women have done for us, we'll never truly understand. Hugs xox

Lorraine said...

Just lovely.

Sue said...

Thanks for this lovely post and great poem. A wonderful tribute...
xoxo

Kerri said...

This is a universal poem it seems. Lovely to hear G. reading it.
Such a sad story about your grandpa's brother. His poor mum endured so much!
This is a beautiful tribute to all the hero's and veterans of this world.
Your posts are always so creative. Clever girl :)
I hope things have settled down a bit for you and you're feeling better.

UKBob said...

They must have been dreadful times,I don't think we can begin to imagine what the horror of it all was really like.

Alice said...

It's so hard to believe that mere children were going off to war and fighting so bravely. I can't begin to imagine how their families must have felt. I shudder to think that any of my children should have to go and fight a war like that. I feel grateful and very humble for their sacrifice.

slap me happy said...

well read G.
xx
shona

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