Monday, November 11, 2013

Great War survivors

My Uncle Tom (on the right) has been dead for many years now. When he was in his early nineties he was taken into hospital.
‘We can’t find any record of you having been in hospital before,’ said the consultant.
Uncle Tom thought for a moment and replied, ‘Last time was in 1918 when I got gassed.’

He wasn't my real uncle. He was my grandfather's best friend. Grandad is on the left. He joined up and went to fight in the Great War when the Bantams were formed. Soldiers under five feet two inches. Previous to that, small men weren't eligible for the forces.

They look barely out of school here, proud in their uniforms. Thankfully, though Tom was gassed and Grandad was wounded, they both survived.




  1. It's strange to hear things like, 'Thankfully he was gassed' or 'Thankfully he was wounded' - war is the only time when this would be a blessing. Yes they do look so young.

  2. A different breed, Lynne. Two likely lads, if I ever saw some. You've reminded me of my own grandfather. No medical records until he was admitted for a couple of days, aged 82. He lived for another 10 years, and only had the doctor in attendance during his final days.

  3. Hi Lynne, my grandad was dressed exactly like that and he was gassed, in 1918. Wonder if they knew each other at all. Highly unlikely, but I'd like to think they were keeping each other cheery, like me and you do now. I always think of him on 11th hour of 11th month...