Remembering the stories of WW1
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of britain’s involvement in WWI.
Unfortunately I know nothing about my great grandparents and their involvement in the war and the only people who knew ,(both sets of grandparents and my dad) are no longer with us.
However my fiancés family do know at least know the name of a family member involved in the war.
Edward Osborne (My fiance’s great grandfather, Pop’s) fought in world war 1. He never spoke of his account of the war so we simply do not know where or when he fought. But honestly who could blame him, the horrors he saw and experienced I’m sure none of us would want to relive.
As his son said (my fiance’s grandfather), “The men who talked about their exploits in the war, rarely did so”
While I respect the fact that no one who lived through the war wanted to talk about it to their families, it is a shame that their personal stories die with them.
I have no idea of what either of my great grandfathers did or even if they survived the war. I believe it is incredibly important that, if we can, we remember the sacrifices made on our behalf, so that we can enjoy the freedom we have now.
WW1 was known as the Great war, the war the end all wars but unfortunately it wasn’t. If ever we needed a reason to remember the fallen, the veterans and those still serving then learning from our mistakes should be it.
As a mother myself, I can only try to imagine the pain hundreds of thousands of mothers across the globe (allies or axis) had to endure upon receiving news of the demise of their husbands or sons.
I also believe it is extremely important that we educate our children about the causes, events and consequences of all wars.
While trying to research about my great grandfather in law I stumbled upon an excellent site – The great war 1914-1918
This site provides an overview of the First World War battlefields on the Western Front by showing you where they are and what you can see there today. Established in 1998, the website is dedicated to the memory of 20 family members who served in the military during the Great War of 1914-1918
Not knowing much about WW1 than the facts in general knowledge, I have spent most of the day reading about the timeline of events and the Western front on that site. There are so many personal, heart rendering stories that you can’t help but read any you come across, even though you know they will leave you in tears.
Impressively the site also has a section with educational resources for teachers and details of how you can trace your family history and even medal records.
There is so much fantastic information that I myself haven’t explored it all yet.
Trying to get my head around the names of battlefields and what happened when with whom I have started reading Horrible histories – Frightful first world war. I know it is written for children but the book outlines the events so simply I can get my head around them and ultimately teach them to Jack when he is older.
While I will not stand in his way if he decides in the future to join the military, I hope I can instal in him that war is nothing like call of duty and it is not only his own life that will be affected.
This has been a difficult post to write but one I felt I should write, if simply out of respect for the sacrifices made. I am extremely grateful that I am able to bring Jack up in a relatively free world, where he can enjoy things these young men never got the opportunity to.
In closing I will leave you with one of the most sobering and poignant images involving WW1.
The unknown soldier.