Monday, August 4, 2014

WWI Family

The War to End all Wars, The Great War.

Above is a photo of my great grandfather, my father's, mother's father.  Who was gassed in the trenches and died of lung problems a few years after the war ended.

Let me tell you a little about him.  He was one of generations of shoe makers.  His eldest son being the last generation to make hand made shoes.  They lived in the East End of London, Hackney.  It is thought that they came over from France as Huguenots, settling in London.  They used to make hand made shoes for theatre people.  There were six children, two boys and four girls and I remember every great aunt and uncle.

Above is my great, great aunt, that is my great grandmother's half sister, my mother's, mother's, mother's half sister, Elizabeth.  Her other brother and sister emigrated to New Zealand, just before the first World War.

On the back of the photo it says she was a sister in a Manchester Hospital 1914 - 1918 War.  She died October 2nd 1965.  I do not know too much about that side of the family, except for the fact that all down the decades the family in New Zealand always kept in contact with my grandmother, unfortunately, there is only one older relative a cousin Joan, left in New Zealand.

She came to England during the sixties, for several years and lived in the Earl's Court area.  I remember her coming down to visit us at Christmas time and putting through a trunk call to New Zealand, where the operator phoned you and said your call is now connected.

There were other family members in the war who I know little about.  My grandfather's eldest brother, who died in the war on my dad's side and another great cousin, on my mother's side, who's grave I visited in Sible Hedingham, Essex.  He died of wounds about a week after the war ended.  That always seems the sadest to me.

The very day the war ended Wilfred Owen's parents found out that he had died.



  1. That is interesting. My next winter project is finding out about my grandfather's w.w.1 activity. Its sad when somebody survived most of the war and then died.


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