Remembrance Day – 11/11/11

 For The Fallen by Robert Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

My Grandfather John Henry WILLIAMS (1875-1925) survived the Great War (WW1), but what he saw and what damage it did to him I will never know!

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” – Winston Churchill

Not So – Wordless Wednesday – John Henry Williams 1875 – 1925


My Maternal Grandfather
John Henry WILLIAMS (aka Jack)
Born Holywell North Wales 25 March 1875

My Grandfather (right) with his eldest son John (also called Jack)

Jack jnr was born 31 Jan 1898 in Leigh Lancashire

In 1900 the family moved to Hoole in Chester
These two photographs were taken during the First World War.  They illustrate the effect that the war had on people.  If you look at the first photo this shows a proud man in his new uniform ready to serve his country.  The second shows a dejected, weary, thin man a couple of years later.

To date I have been unable to find the war records of either my grandfather or uncle, so I don’t know what they did, or where they served?  From their uniforms I surmise that they were in the Royal Artillery – Clarification and help welcomed.

Family remember that JH signed up for the army to keep an eye out for his 16 year old son who had run away to join up.  JH would be about 40.  They both ‘survived’ the war.

My grandfather died in 1925 – aged 50.  On his death certificate it states he died from Tuberculosis.  His wife and children doubted this, they thought he actually died from the results of coming into contact with mustard gas.

Following the war JH had joined the fire service in Sandycroft near Chester.  During his service it is believed he “visited” the munitions factory where mustard gas bombs were being dismantled.