World War One Remembered.
World War One Broke out one hundred years ago today.
Both of my granddads fought on the western front, and survived to tell the tale, here they are.
Firstly, Granddad Carter in his WWI army uniform who was gassed, and for good measure was shot in the hip and severely injured.
The injury didn't seem to affect him too much, as he went on to father ten children, or I wouldn't be here! I remember him as a wizened old man sitting in an ancient three wheeled cane wheelchair, barking out orders to all his subjects - children and grandchildren. He sure as heck frightened the hell out of me! I never saw him walk. I don't think he could.
The family business was haulage and transport, as the name might suggest, "Carter", based in New Milton, Hampshire, or Old Milton to be more precise, and all the work was done by horse and cart.
At the outbreak of war, all the horses were commandered by the government and sent to France, so the family story goes, and ample compensation was promised.
Seems like nothing was ever forthcoming - and I guess that is no surprise, knowing what governments can be like!
Granddad Adshead, my mum's dad, also fought on the western front, and though I have a picture of him in his army uniform somewhere, I can't locate it. He switched to the merchant marine after the war and spent all his career with Elders and Fyffes on the Atlantic run, including on convoys throughout World War II.
Here he is in the 1950s, possibly in New York, in his Chief Engineer's uniform.
He had three sons, Eric, Colin, and Phillip Adshead all of whom served their time at Cammell Laird Shipbuilders in Birkenhead, and all of whom went into the merchant marine, and one daughter, my mother, Hazel, who joined the WRENS in the last year and a half of World War II.
They lived at number 11 Eastway in Greasby on the Wirral, where a bomb fell in the road during the blitz, fortunately for our family, further down the street. Granddad Adshead could certainly tell a story, and we kids quizzed him at every opportunity, especially about the time his ship was hit on the Atlantic crossing when a German bomb went right down the funnel, but failed to explode.
So this blogpost is a little thankyou to granddads everywhere, or indeed a VERY BIG THANKYOU, and to everyone else who fought in both of those terrible conflicts.
You might think from those two dreadful wars that we human beings might have learned our lessons, but nothing could be further from the truth, what with today's fighting in Israel and Gaza, in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Libya, among others. Wake up, fellow earthlings, before it is too late!