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Sad day.


Staff member
In Ireland, but born Bucks.
I think I must have been somewhat naive whilst doing research of my paternal grandmother.
I knew of one great uncle who had died in WW1, but never expected so much to unfold almost before my very eyes.
Not only did my granny have three brothers fighting (2 died), but also two brothers-in-law(both died) and two nephews(1 died).
I never realised that her husband, my grandad, was also called up. I thought he would have been too old. But by accident I found his war records, enlisted 1915 and demobbed Jan. 1920.

So with 5 children aged from 9months to 5yrs, she was alone and her family was slowly disappearing, and not knowing if her husband will survive.

Then 21yrs later 2 sons go off to war and only one returns. I cannot even imagine what would have gone through her mind.
Muliply that by 10's of 1000's.
What a sad, sad day I had. I am so lucky, as are millions of others.
It really hit home the enormity of WW1 on a 'personal' basis.

Lucky, fortunate and grateful, Steve.
Hi Steve,

I felt the same way when researching my Grand Uncle who died in France in the Theatre of war in 1917. How resilient these women were, the wives and Mothers who were left behind! It was mass murder really and so many children brought up without a father/breadwinner. So many of their families ended up in the poor house too.

We are so lucky!

A very touching, thought provoking and poignant post Steve, and one I'm sure that many of us can relate to. As an ex serviceman, whose father, grandfather, and great grandfather all served in the forces, I might be considered biased in this regard, but it is good that we dont forget the real people behind the statistics.

"It is the soldier,not the minister
who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the soldier, not the reporter
who has given us the freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the union organiser
who has given us the freedom to protest.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the soldier, not the politician
who has given us the right to vote
It is the soldier who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is drapped by the flag
who allows the protester to burn the flag"

best wishes
It is indeed very thought provoking, :( and how sad, yes it must have been very hard for people to see so many of their family disappearing for ever, I can't imagine how I would feel if I was in that position. The only family I had that died in WW1 was an uncle. One of my Grandfathers fought in WW1 but was a survivor. he was apparently too old for WW2 but joined I think it was the ATS. I have not come across many ancestors dying in the wars most of them seemed to be Miners or Fisherfolk.:)

We dont know we are born. We always look at our ancestors from a 21st century point of view but as we were not there, we dont know how hard their lives were.

Your grandmother must have found it difficult. I cannot begin to imagine how hard it was for her to bring up 5 children alone.

For example, when our ancestors ended up in an infirmary, their care was not like today. It was a huge horribly cavernous ward with loug gas lamps burning all night, the constant sounds of other patients anbd the echoing footsteps of the staff and patients getting up in the night.

One of my Grandfather's was born in a workhouse it must have been horrendous by todays standards - and we moan about the state of the NHS:rolleyes:
Steve, thats a very sad discovery. Its certainly something that stays with you, we cant begin to imagine how things must have been during this time.