Monday, 11 November 2013

Remembering two soldiers

On my constant companion BBC Radio 4 Big Ben has just struck the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month and we've observed two minutes silence.  Here are two WWI soldiers I'm remembering today.  On the right is Alun, my Mother's father and above on the left my Father's brother Frank.  I've researched their military history with very differing results.  Frank's record is quite easy to find as his name is quite individual, having taken two family names - Frank and Beckett.  I found he was a gunner in the Machine Gun Corps and won the Military Cross for gallantry in April 1918. 

On the other hand, my Taid's (Welsh for grandfather) military history is a complete mystery.  I've searched and searched for his name in the records without success.  Many WWI records were destroyed during WW2 but the medal cards survived and these cards are often where research can begin.  His name is not there.  Yet these photos show him in uniform and with a recognisable cap badge.  However I do have a theory, though its not a helpful one.  At the outbreak of war in July 1914 Taid was 17 years old.  Recruitment age was then 19 years and no one below that age could serve overseas.  So I believe Taid, like many other young men who thought they were in for adventure, gave a false name and age.  He certainly looks young in these photos, even with a cigarette in his mouth!  My Mother knew very little about his war experiences, just that he was wounded and suffered "trench foot".  He wore special built up shoes for the rest of his life. 

On Saturday I took the rest of the proceeds from my poppy making marathon to the Poppy Appeal office.  I was delighted and surprised to see the lovely lady there wearing one of my poppies (via our local community hospital).  I made £75.00 from selling my poppies directly and there was a bit more from poppies I sent to friends who then donated to their local appeals.  Although it was rather a last minute project the outcome made it very worthwhile and I'll be more prepared for next year's appeal.  I certainly need to replenish the black buttons in my button jar - never thought I'd run out of those!

1 comment:

  1. Great photos! Your grandfather certainly looks very young in the photo. Well done on selling so many of your beautiful poppies. x


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