WAR: Remembering the human stories

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Wallsend Fair was a real treat – a glorious sunny day, plenty of entertainment. I particularly enjoyed watching the children dancing and signing. The library was very good and informative.

Now, my but.

The man who was giving information on the First World War and shot at dawn had researched well and was good with facts, but I was so wanting to tell the story of my wonderful grandmother who went searching for her eldest son. I have her passport (one of them).

Granny lived with us and I grew up on the story by way of my cousin, who also lived with us. Uncle George ran off to join a Yorkshire regiment at 17-years-old, and Granny brought him back.

He joined up at 18 again, this time Granny couldn’t do anything because he was away.

He fought in two regiments – the first one was decimated and the second was 18th Battalion Highland Light Infantry. He died, aged 20, on October 14, 1918.

Granny looked for him until his name went on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

My dad was very close to his brother and as soon as he was old enough he joined the Air Force, as its known now. He was four years in Egypt (Sopworth Camels).

Six weeks before the Second World War he was called up as Flight Sergeant, then Warrant Officer.

I have his ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ on my wall.

One of my earliest memories is holding my dad’s hand on coming out of Edinburgh Castle after seeing Uncle George’s name in two books in the chapel. My dad had to bend to tie a perfect shoelace to hide his tears.

I would have loved to share this and so much more with this historian. There are so many human sides as well.

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