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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Family History

Today is Remembrance Sunday. The one day of the year when everyone remembers the people that gave up their lives in wars to keep our freedoms and peace.

I am lucky in one way, as I am not aware that any of my family died in active service, but sad in another, as I can't personally connect with the loss that others feel at this time of year. Whether it was against the Germans; in Korea, Ireland, the Falklands or the latest conflict in the Middle East.

My dad Douglas, was born with a disability (polio), so he couldn't join up for active service. Instead he spent 39-45 chauffeuring high level military personnel around. I don't think he ever got to drive Winston Churchill. But if he did, he never said.

His dad Albert was in the Royal Navy, but died in 1917. Not from enemy fire, but from a disease. So my dad din't really know him at all as he was born in April 1916. So his mum had several children to bring up on her own. But from all accounts, I don't think she was short of gentlemen friends.

I used to have an uncle on my mums side called Frank that fought with the Sherwood Foresters.  He was born in York in 1898 and died in 1982. He had won some campaign medals, but when he died, my mum decided to send them to his nephew, also called Frank, who lives in Guernsey.

So what picture to put up for today? Many other bloggers are showing the traditional poppy, but I feel something different is called for. Instead I'm showing a photo that I took in June, when the Mercians, marched through the city centre after returning from Afghanistan.

My uncle would have been proud, as the Mercian regiment are what the Sherwood Foresters used to be, before the recent shake up of the armed forces.