Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11/11


My Grandfather survived Passchendaele, although he died before I was born. Today is for you and all those who gave their lives.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

My Grandad made the saddles for the horses that took those men into battle. I salute him today too.

Mrs Danvers

Anonymous said...

My Grandfather served at Passchendaele as well. This campaign is under-appreciated in our society with Gallipoli seen as the pinnacle of NZ service in the Great War. Like many, he lied about his age to go to war, claiming he was 19 when he was only 17. Soon after arriving at the front, Passchendaele started. During the campaign, he was buried alive with some mates when an explosion collapsed his trench. He was the only survivor. Later, he was trained in the operation of flamethrowers which were known to draw enemy fire. In 1918 he was gassed, suffering significant lung damage and invaliding him out of the Army.

Mum was born in 1944 and said as long as she could remember her Dad frequently woke screaming from nightmares. He refused to talk to anyone about it. Those veterans kept their torment and suffering to themselves. He died in 1962 from a post-operation infection after Doctors attempted to fix worsening lung damage.

Regrettably he died years before I was born. I have some of his letters, mementos and photos. We owe our veterans of all wars a great deal. For their sacrifice I do not have to experience a god-forsaken fetid trench on the other side of the world, with the decaying bodies of long dead mates as a constant reminder of my mortality. Long may we remember them.

Ford Anglia

Lou Taylor said...

Thanks Ford
Your comments are appreciated.
Grandad avoided being gassed but suffered from a shell shock wave.He died in his early 50's from a suspected anurism (spelling?)

Clunking Fist said...

Ford, my goal in life is never to go to war. That, never have to go to war. At 40 I think I may be safe, but not my sons...