As we all remembered the fallen yesterday, I had particular reason to think of family loss. In the Great War no less than 8 sons from my great-grandfather’s family of 14 volunteered and served. This is a record for their home town of Londonderry. Only 5 came home. Two received commendations for conspicuous gallentray rescuing officer under fire. These were at the Somme and Thiepval where my grandfather was shot in the face and had to be hospitalised for 8 months.
It wasn’t just the fighting on the Western Front that they took part in. One great-uncle died in Palestine just 8 months before the armistice. Another went on a reflief expedition to a town in present-day Iraq. Another who lost his leg served in the 3rd Toronto Regiment Canadain Contingent.
It was truly a global conflict which ripped apart familes.Three of my great-uncles were never seen again, but live on in the family memory