Jim was my Great , great uncle.
For many years there was a family myth around his death.
- mistold and uncorrected as the years went by
"He was a small man- 5 feet nothing"
"His uniform was 3 sizes too big"
"His rifle was bigger than him"
"He'd been married 3 weeks before going to the front in 1916"
"He was killed with a single shot to the head"
About 10 years ago,with the death of elderly relatives, letters and newspaper cuttings were put together
and the true tale found out.
The shot to the head was wrong.
Jim had made friends with blokes from another unit.
He was going for a cuppa when the comms trench he was running through was hit by a german shell.
It was just a random act, not directed at him.
"An accident of war"
Deville Wood suffered many casualties- It has a special memorial to the South Africans dead.
This huge loss of life and sheer logistics of collecting, interring and recording the final resting place of the dead is demonstrated by a letter I have dated 11/8/1922
The letter says that 6 years after his death Jims grave was unknow to the War Graves Commission.
It was 1928 before the family were able to visit his grave.
The cemetery is quiet and dignified.
A parade of the fallen, drawn up in ranks.
Silent and still
Awaitng this day.
The day we remember them
1. If it is your Great Uncle Jack , your spirit belongs here, along with his!
2. Return to page 1 of these messages, scroll down to Countryman's message and then press the "pm" button. Enter your personal message and send it!
3. If that doesn't work, pm me and I will try!