My paternal grandfather ‘Joe’ was a young lad of 15 when he signed up for ‘Queen and Country’ at the beginning of the 1st World War. He lied about his age to become a private in the Cheshire Regiment and to go to war. Like him many young men disobeyed their parents and left for a grand adventure never to return home, staying forever young. My grandad never spoke to us about what happened to him during the war, i know he was mustard gassed and shot in the face but don’t know where he fought. To his grandchildren he was a small grumpy man who walked with a stick, to others a hero. Now i am older and have learnt of the things he may have suffered i consider that small slightly built old man a true hero, for having the courage to disobey his mother, for bravely going into something that would change the shape of his life without knowing how truly horrific it would become and for coming home and remaking his life, for living in a society that had no understanding of the things he had seen and done and for getting on with living. I have a painting of him as a young man in his uniform, it was painted especially for his mother and has passed from great grandmother to grandmother, to father and now to me. I don’t think it is an especially good portrait but it is a true reflection of the man. It is framed nicely and has stood the test of time, being bombed, stuck up in the loft, left in the cupboard. I knew at an early age that i would keep it and cherish it. For my grandfather and all of the men and women who have heard and answered the call to war this photograph and poem is for them. The poem is written by Chris Lawrence.
remenberance

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