Forgive me for going off topic, but today is a special day for me. One of the great pleasures of my life has been being a Grandpa, and as many of you know, I enjoy having a close relationship with the grandkids. I guess this is especially important to me because I never met either of my grandfathers who both died long before their time. One of my great regrets is that I never knew them.
A hundred years ago today, just as the great battle of the Somme had drawn to a conclusion, in a field hospital in France, my paternal grandad James Corbett “died of wounds” aged 33. He lies buried, along with hundreds of his comrades in this neat military cemetery in a little place called Puchevillers.
The burial records just says this:
I suppose that when this photo was taken, they realised it might be the last one of them all. My dad (bottom right) would have been four years old at the time, so he wouldn’t have remembered much of him either. My Granny, Sarah, is the only one of my grandparents who lived long enough for me to know. Looking back over her own history, she went through some very hard times. I was a tad scared of her. I remember as a child knocking on her door once and she squinted at me and said “Which one be you?”
I might not have known you Grandad, but I remember you today with a real tear in my eye.