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No words this time. For the context, see last week’s post.
My mother, who was 14 years old in 1916 and had five older brothers, lost two of them on 1st July that year, at Montauban, and neither of whom has a known grave and both being commemorated on the Thiepval memorial – Harry and Frank Boardman served with the Kings Own (Liverpool) Regiment. Mother used to recount how a telegram boy started to work his way down the street – there were five houses affected- and in anticipation her mother stood outside the front door as if daring the telegram boy not to call on her. But he did . In sympathy, all the street drew their front window blinds. Casualties in the city Pals Battalions struck local communities much harder than in the County Regiments. Two years after my father became a Special Constable during the General Strike, in 1926, my mother and her parents went on the Great Pilgrimage in 1928, organised by the British Legion, when some 11000 people visited the Somme and Ypres. My mother’s father was born in 1865, became Postmaster of Liverpool and died in 1955. Her mother was born in the Isle of Man, near Peel, and died in 1946. What those generations lived through have filled the history books.
Agree wholeheartedly. By coincidence, my grandfather was also a Special Constable, albeit in WW2 rather than the General Strike. I have his medal and, yes, his truncheon!
And I have my father’s special constable brassard ! One of the events he constabled was the 1926 Cup Final at Wembley between Bolton Wanderes and Manchester City (1-nil to Bolton) – he recalled the enormous crowds, over 90000 people, attending. He was aged 37 when war broke out in 1939 and, being an optician, was in a reserved occupation. We moved out of Liverpool in 1941 after the blitz there when a bomb went through the house next door but failed to explode – if it had, I might never have been born ! In the safer climes of Lancaster father was in the Royal Observer Corps (I still have his wartime aircraft recognition books) and did his stint of night-time fire watching on the battlements of Lancaster Castle.
When the next century arrives in 2100 I wonder how the historians then will view the current century – still, there’s a long way to go, yet, and will the 19th and 20th century scrambles for leibensraum be replaced by an equally territorial conflict for food by the many millions of people as yet unborn ? I should like to live long enough to be able to look back that far……………pass the elixir, Merlin !
Thank you says it all.
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