this year I seem to have been running into World War I references for the last 10 days or so. First of all I read this piece in the English (admittedly tabloid) press.
Then I saw in our local paper that Joe Sacco was speaking at Seattle Town Hall on 14th about this amazing new book of his –
which is on my Amazon Wish List for those of you who may be interested! 😉
On top of that the daughter of one of my friends who is traveling in Eastern Europe at the moment just arrived in Sarajevo a couple of days ago. That city has had an incredible history since it’s founding by the Ottomans in the 1400s but if you’re my age the first thing you think of when you hear its name is the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand that sparked the beginning of World War I……. maybe the second thing is the Cellist of Sarajevo playing during that awful siege in the 90’s, but I digress…back to WWI. After all these recent references to ‘the war to end all wars’ and specifically the Battle of the Somme I checked with my mom to see exactly where my Grandad fought in that war. She confirmed – he was at the Battle of the Somme as well as many other places with the Somerset Light Infantry.
Here he is – bottom left, looking very young! I think this may be in 1916.
As always, huge thanks go to every veteran of every conflict but this year Grandad gets a special thank you. Not only for fighting for our freedom but for living long enough and well enough to tell his great tales many times over – at the Christmas table every year (no-one will ever forget the dead donkey story!) and at the end of every other row as he was digging the garden. He would sit on an upturned bucket and teach my brother and I how to roll his cigarettes with Rizla papers and Golden Virginia tobacco while he made that piece of history come alive for us. Cheers Grandad 😉