Today is Anzac Day and around the world nations are commemorating. (Note: would some media stop using the world “celebrating” – you don’t celebrate a mass slaughter).
In London there is a huge march with a service at the Cenotaph attended by the Queen. Civilians had to apply to be allowed to attend by giving their reasons for wanting to do so. And my sister will be marching along, wearing my grandfather’s medals.
My grandfather fought at Gallipoli with the Royal Irish Regiment (I think 10th Irish Division). Our mother was his only child. She was in the WRAF during the Second World War (based mainly in Sri Lanka), my father was in the Chinhill Battalion in India and Burma – And my sister herself served in the Women’s Royal Army Corps.
Why my grandfather was in an Irish regiment nobody seems to know. He was born and brought up in Yorkshire. I know Ireland was then part of the UK but I’ve no idea why he didn’t join a Yorkshire Regiment. After the war he returned to England and was then posted to India in the early part of 1920. My grandmother followed him out (pregnant) and gave birth to my mother there. I think they returned to England when my mother was about 3 or 4. It’s just a coincidence that she ended up back there in the next war (she was in love with my father and wangled a posting as he’d been sent there).
I remember my grandfather because he died when I was about 4. Judith obviously (being 3 years older) remembers him well.
We don’t have to say “Lest We Forget” – we will NEVER forget him.