11/11

In 2009 Phil and I went to France, to follow in my Grandad’s footsteps in the 1st World War, and to find the grave of his best friend William Harrold, who he had joined up with.  Grandad made it through the war, but William died on 30 October 1917, 3 weeks after coming back to the war after having leave at home, where he had married his sweetheart Doris. I have both their military records, and neither had distinguished medals or mentions in despatches, but  William died for his country, and Grandad lived to bring up a great family. They are both heroes.

We visited all the memorials we could, Thiepval, Passchendael, Albert, Vimy Ridge, to name a few and also saw the huge craters left on the Messiness Ridge, by the underground bombs delivered through months of underground tunnelling.  I took photo’s 🙂 and then I put them together in a little movie.

Thank you Grandad and William, for keeping us safe.

me&grandad

15 comments

      • LOL! No, that’s not what I mean, I can assure you. I usually tear up quite a bit when I watch something about war, so it’s little more than a coping mechanism on my part. I don’t think I would have made a very effective soldier. Thank god there were people like Grandad and William in the world. We are all much better off for it. 🙂

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  • Very nice tribute . . . too bad we still haven’t learned. I think it is wonderful that you became family to your grandfather’s friend, to keep his memory alive.

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    • Thanks -N- I think my grandad would be pleased, I don’t think William’s wife had children by him, although 3 weeks would have been long enough! I haven’t had time yet to track her life.

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  • Is November 11th Veterans’ day in the UK too?
    This is a lovely tribute to your grandfather and his best friend. The photo of you and and your grandfather is great. I’m certainly glad that he made it back from the war 🙂

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    • Nov 11th here is known as Armistice day and started in 1919 1 yr after the 1st war ended. We don’t have a national holiday for it, but the whole country stops for 2 minute silence at 11am and the last post is played at the remembrance ceremony at the Cenotaph in London, and broadcast across the nation. We honour all our veterans and armed forces, but with emphasis on 1st WW.
      Armistice day in USA began in 1926, was made a national holiday 12 yrs later, and on 1st June 1954 President Eisenhower changed the name to Veterans Day after a gentleman from Emporia,Kansas called Alvin King & his congressman lobbied for the change of name, in order to honour all veterans (his nephew was killed in WW2 at the Battle of the Bulge) . Your public records state the name was changed as the Armistice was supposed to ‘end all wars’ which it clearly did not, and the name change reflects that point. I guess a rose smells as sweet by any name, and the name of the day isn’t as important as paying tribute to those who gave their lives for us, and still do today. Cheers Melissa 😊

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  • Just lovely. I love history and especially family history! You don’t have to receive medals to be a hero. Not at all!! Well done and thanks for sharing, Fraggle!

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