remembering Grandads

November 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm 13 comments

My great Grandfather fought in the First World War.  When he joined the troops abroad in 1917 he left behind his wife, pregnant with my Nan, and his 8 children. News of the baby’s safe arrival reached him by telegram and I would have loved to have seen his reaction when he read ‘3 babies – twin girls, 1 boy’.

Remembrance Day always makes me think of my beloved Grandad who fought in the Second World War and like most men of his generation never talked about it.  

Grandad was injured in France and invalided out of the war with respiratory problems and his health was never the same.  It’s 20 years since he passed away and it makes me sad to think that even those we love dearly become part of our history and begin to slip from living memory.

I have 15 years of memories with my Grandad.  George was not so lucky.  His Grandad died before he was born but the stories that have been shared with him have given him some insight into who George Senior was and what he cared about.  And in some ways not being influenced by memories of his Grandad as an old man has enabled him to have a better understanding of who he was as a young man.  The dreams he had, the things he struggled with and the interests they would have shared.  For me this photograph sums that up and if you know my George you’ll understand why (and be able to spot his Grandad)

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bonfire night Christmas come early

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. MarkWillis  |  November 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Some very noble sentiments here. I applaud you. An awareness of family history is very important.

    Reply
  • 2. mangocheeks  |  November 11, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Heart warming to learn not only of your present loved ones, but those gone too – shall not be forgotten as long as we continue to talk about them and share stories with those who did not get to know them.

    Reply
  • 3. Nic's husband  |  November 12, 2010 at 9:29 am

    He died the year before my parents were married. My nan wore black to the wedding I think.

    Reply
  • 4. Johanna GGG  |  November 12, 2010 at 11:31 am

    it is sad returned soldiers don’t talk much about the war – i recently read some letters from my great uncle who was killed in the war and felt so sad at all his life and hope in the letters

    Reply
  • 5. anitanee  |  November 12, 2010 at 11:33 am

    What an absolutely lovely post, stories shared with love and insight.

    Reply
  • 6. Nip it in the bud  |  November 12, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Mark – it’s a shame the interest only comes when we start to get old ourselves! So many tales get forgotten or are not shared because they seem so ordinary to the ‘stars’ of the story

    MC – you’re so right. Never forgotten in our hearts

    G – I’d forgotten that about your nan – it’s happening already :o(

    Johanna – must have been heartbreaking to read. Very special to have them though and part of your history too now

    Anita – thanks lovely. Did you spot who G’s grandad is? There’s a very obvious link between him and George :o)

    Reply
    • 7. anitanee  |  November 14, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      Yes I spotted G’s grandad – isn’t that lovely to have such an important connection between them? x

      Reply
  • 8. Dad  |  November 12, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Your other Grandad died the Christmas before your 2nd birthday. Not enough time for you to know him. He didn’t mention the last war much mainly because he had problems with his feet.
    During my “growing years” he always spent most of his time in gardens or allotments.
    luv Dad

    Reply
  • 9. Jasmin  |  November 13, 2010 at 10:12 am

    What a lovely ode to that brave generation. I never met my grandad either but my gran used to talk about the war a bit. Matt recorded his nan’s memories of the war and put it to music. It was beautiful, sad but very inspiring x

    Reply
  • 10. Nip it in the bud  |  November 13, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Dad – I’m sorry I forgot that. He’d be happy to see me pottering around my allotment then :o)

    Jas – what a beautiful reminder Matt’s recording must be -very special. This is a fine example of the importance of making time for loved ones and seizing the moment while you have it.

    Reply
  • 11. nina - tabiboo  |  November 15, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    A beautiful dedication – I think we all had our grandads in our thoughts.

    take care,

    Nina xxx

    Reply
  • 12. Stephanie M at Together In Food  |  November 24, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Mmm, this is a lovely honoring of your granddads and also a good reminder to each of us to remember those who came before us. I’ve been meaning to record a history of my grandparents — for years — and this post has inspired me to get on it. I’m lucky that 3 of my 4 grandparents are still alive, although unfortunately one of my grandfathers passed away this summer.

    Reply
  • 13. Nip it in the bud  |  November 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Nina – definitely and long may it be the case

    Stephanie – glad to be of service :o) Perhaps your grandmother would find it comforting to share stories of the life she had with your grandfather with you. Seize the moment – you’ll be surprised how quickly life passes by otherwise.

    Reply

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