FOWC with Fandango: Advanced

My paternal grandfather was not a hero, but in 1914 when he country ordered him to fight he went and advanced to the front. He was no longer a young man, but they needed everything they had. My dad was on the way, born in 1915 and my grandmother had her two other daughters. So grandad packed the little he had and was on the way to France. His first taste of being abroad were the fields of war.

The badge on his arm means he was in the Medical core and his work? Not treating the injured and dying, but collecting the dead in a truck as my dad told me. He was working class in daily civilian life, as were all our family, and his work was as nightwatchman in the City of London for Lloyds Insurance company. The company had promised him that his work would still be there after completing his army duty for country and King, which it was.

I remember him as being a quiet man, a real grandfather with his knitted jacket and pipe. My dad told me he was a bit of a wild one when a younger man and once spent a night in prison because he had a fight with a guy that in his opinion insulted my grandmother. He loved dogs, but only the greyhounds, those that competed in the races and like to have a bet.

Another little anecdote from my dad. When my grandad came home from his war service he arrived at the door and my grandmother was of course overjoyed to see him. She now had a three year old toddler holding her hand, which was my dad. He remembers asking his mother who that man was at the door. She told him it is your father.

War can be complicated.

FOWC with Fandango: Advanced

16 thoughts on “FOWC with Fandango: Advanced

    • All the men in our family fought in one of the world wars. They were left no choice, bundled off to do it. Today it is being celebrated, but the first world war was a farce as far as I am concerned. It is still a mystery today why so many had to lose their lives because a leader was assassinated in a country the people in England had not even known existed at the time.

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  1. I have a similar memory from the end of WWII. My dad had been away for 3-1/2 years. My sister was born a week after he left the country — I was not quite 2 years old. When he came home, my mother dressed us in our prettiest sundresses, and bundled us up in the car (it was nighttime!), and took us to the train station. He took a long time for us to see, as he got off the other side of the train. Life changed rather dramatically at that time!

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    • They are the experiences that remain. I was born in 1946. My dad came home on Friday, got married on Saturday in uniform of course (he did not have any clothes) and my mum had not seen him for almost 5 years.

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  2. ❤ I have no glorious ancestral war stories (that I know of). My dad was just a kid in WW II, though he joined up. He was often in the brig and always being busted down to "buck private" for getting drunk in Tijuana. In this way, he was never shipped out. He ended up in the California desert operating radios used by the Pacific Fleet in the war against the Japanese. One of the people out there was my Uncle Hank who was in the Navy. He was on an island by Guadalcanal helping supply the troops. When it was over, my Aunt Jo (to whom he was engaged and madly in love) said, "I'm only waiting until midnight!" (on the night his ship was to land in Seattle). He RAN the last five miles to get to her in time. ❤

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    • There are many stories from the wat. My dad was in Italy for a few years and he loved that country and discovered wine. It had been raining, they were marching and the ground collapsed where the farmer had his wine cellar. Dad said there was not a sober man in the regiment afterwards and the farmer was quite annoyed to lose his wines to the British army

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  3. I don’t have enough family history to even know who did what. My mother’s family didn’t fight, but that was because they were kids, too young. By the time the next war came around, they were too old. Garry enlisted in the Marines during the probably ONLY time we weren’t at war. I do know that many of my family fought (very reluctantly) in the Russian army. Once drafted, no one saw them again. They were as good as dead. That was mostly true of every soldier in WWI. Very few men returned. Literally, at least in England, an entire generation of men died on the fields. And by the time there were new men, there was another war.

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    • My other grandfather worked in a munitions factory in World War One making bombs. We had a shell in the garden as a souvenir. My dad’s cousin was a prisoner of war in Japan, but he survived and came home and a cousin of my mum was in India. I grew up with war stories and my playgrounds as a kid were bombed houses


  4. I think it very sad that all countries have unlimited amounts of money- our governments will even go into debt for the purpose – to spend training normal, mostly young, people how to kill and face imminent death from someone who wants to kill them for almost the same reasons, and yet when it comes to training those same people (the ones who actually live long enough) how to resume and reintegrate into a ‘normal life’ after what they have had to see and do ‘for their country’ it seems most governments just can’t be bothered. 😦

    My government has just legislated for $500 000 000 dollars to be spent on expanding and updating our National War Memorial so that tourists and our own civilians who have never had a shot fired at them in a war on their own soil can better understand ‘what it was like’.

    Almost daily a Vet who cannot deal with their life takes their own… some take other’s with them.

    War is Hell – and remains so for a long time after it has ‘ended’. It is also still very big – if not the biggest – profit making business.


      • Switzerland is both fortunate and possibly unimaginably sane! 🙂

        But when was the last time it was invaded by those who sought power over it and it’s people. The threat of being ruled or dictated to by a foreign power tends to make governments – especially some of the smaller ones like Australia buy into forming ‘alliances’ and fighting other people’s wars with them.

        Australia is always up for a good scrap when someone challenges our ‘mates’! 😦 It’s just not that good at helping the victims when they come back home a little ‘edgy’ – to put it mildly.

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  5. When I was still relatively small, my father returned from his 3-week-repetition course in the Swiss army, he rang the doorbell at the entry of the house, and I ran to the door of our appartment. My dad climbed up the stairs in his heavy shoes, the green outfit, a rifle swung at his shoulder, and I remember how terribly scared I was of this stranger. I screamed my head off and my dad was terrified that I had managed to forget him in those three weeks…..
    I cannot even begin to think what war does to families, children, partners, relations!

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