Sunday, 11 November 2012
This Remembrance Sunday I'm remembering Frank Beckett Hayes, my Dad's older brother. I don't know much about him as I never met him. Mum says he was the 'black sheep' of the family - I don't know why, perhaps because he never settled down nor had much to do with his family - except when he wanted to borrow money - which I'm led to believe was too often! I wish I had known him.... however I did carry out some research into his experiences in the First World War some years ago as my Dad had told me Frank had been awarded the Military Cross - an award for bravery. I found he had been attached to the Machine Gun Corps (you can see the crossed gun badge on his uniform) and found the award listed in the London Gazette, the official newspaper of Parliament. The Gazette published the dispatches of the Commanders-in-Chief, listed officers promotions and appointments, gallantry awards and much else that is useful to the WW1 researcher. You can search it one line for free.
And when I think of what Frank must have lived through in those years as a soldier..... a young man whose life up until then had been spent in a small peaceful country market town in North Wales...... it is not surprising that he found it hard to settle down to normal family life after four years of war.
So today I'm especially remembering Frank, as well as my Dad, my Grandfather, and all the other members of my family that experienced the deprivations and horrors of war.