Thankfulness by Jan Strickland

A warm welcome back to Jan Strickland with her entry to this month’s writing competition on the prompt of ‘being thankful’.

poppies and helmet

Jan Strickland says:


My grandfather fought in the Great War.

He, with his three pals, didn’t wait to be conscripted, but volunteered right at the start, leaving his wife, a daughter aged 7 years old and a son of 5 (my dad).

I suppose not only did they want to do their duty to King & Country, but they may have also looked upon it as perhaps, a bit of an adventure.  I doubt many young men in1913 from Liverpool would have travelled much and now they would get the chance to visit other countries.

My grandfather and his friends, because they had volunteered, were invited to a civic reception by the Mayor of Liverpool, Mr J E Mayner, along with other volunteers.  In all around 300 young men attended.  The reception for the ‘Liverpool Scottish for the Front Luncheon’ was held on 4th February 1913 in the Liverpool Town Hall.  After the speeches each man was presented with a thick cigar in a blue box with an inscription in gold print.  I still have that box with his 1/2 smoked cigar inside it.

All of us should be so thankful to those brave young men and boys who left home, family and country to fight for our freedom in the rat-infested mud of France.

My grandfather died at Ypres and his name is inscribed, with many thousands of others, on the Menin Gate in Ypres.  We must never forget what these valiant young men did to allow us to live and speak freely in this country.  They lay down their lives for us and paid the highest price.

We must never forget.

(c) Jan Strickland



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