Anzac memories

During April this year (2015) I did some research for a client who wanted to know if he had any ancestors who served in WWI, in particular any who served at Gallipoli and beyond.  As always, war records evoke strong emotions and forgotten memories, and this month was no different.  While doing research for this client, I stumbled across a record for another client that told of her grandfather’s brave war story; a story she never even knew.  In fact, my client had never known any of her grandparents, and her own parents had struggled in early life for many reasons.  After finding that her grandfather had served in France and had trod on some of the bloodiest battlefields (well aren’t they all)…she was very surprised.  But the biggest surprise came I think when a chance finding through the newspaper archives confirmed that her grandfather had not fared well.  We knew already that he had been severely wounded and spent months in hospital in England before being sent home…but this newspaper told us the reality; Henry lost his right leg to amputation after it was almost torn apart from gunfire, and he was left with a severely wounded left arm.  All of this for a young man of 18 who was, prior to war, a known cricket legend in his local community in Brisbane.  Perhaps this sad and tragic outcome of war now provided his later family with reasons of his tumultuous life afterwards, a life that included three failed marriages and child abandonment.  Truly, how can we ever understand what our forefathers went through…how can we have empathy for things that are almost beyond imagining?  May we never forget the sacrifice they so gallantly gave.

 

May 12, 2015 | Posted by in Thoughts & more... | 0 comments