This weekend many people will take time to remember those men and women who over many decades have sacrificed their lives, health and futures in the hope that the next generations could live in peace. This is the story of one of those men during World War 1.
Those of you who have followed the progress of the World War 1 Scene created by Celia Thomas and me in our alternative Nostalgia in Miniature Workshops roles will, I hope, be interested in the end of the tale. While we were thrilled to be able to donate £200 (50% of the sale price) to The Royal British Legion in support of their important work, we were deeply moved by the generous amount paid by a lovely lady from Hertfordshire, and even more so by the poignant story that prompted her purchase.
She has very kindly allowed us to share it with a wider audience.
A few years ago, her family inherited some letters from her grandfather that had been kept safe at his old farm ever since WW1 by his niece, who is now a grand 91 years old! He was one of two brothers in the French Army, and they both looked out for each other during the war.
Her grandfather was an engineer so his letters were quite detailed about the villages, the landscapes and the different movements of troops at that time. Being a photographer too, he was sent out as a scout at night to survey the paths to be used by the canons the next day. He was also in charge of "communications", a glamorous word for carrying a wind-up telephone around everywhere, and was quite a character by all accounts! Both brothers survived the war itself, but her grandfather's brother sadly was gassed during the conflict and suffered badly until his death in 1951. Her grandfather died in 1936, in a motorbike accident.
As a final footnote to this story.....the lady's brother organised an exhibition in the little town where grandfather lived, just west of Paris, earlier in 2014 as part of the WW1 Centenary commemorations. The exhibition traced the destiny of four soldiers from the same area, including photos, medals etc. and an itinerary was created following the first four days of the war in 1914 in Belgium, based on her grandfather's letters.
We feel very privileged that this little scene now belongs to the family of such a brave man.
For more information about this little scene, please go to: www.miniatureworkshops.com
View the video - lovely music too, so speakers on - on the side bar.
If you are in Thame, Oxfordshire the scene itself is being displayed in the window of the Oxfam Bookshop until 13th November.
Thank you for looking