"How shall we remember them?"
I’ve yet to fully flesh out these real stories behind these family members (something I intend to do over the coming year by chatting to and audio-recording surviving elders of the family who actually knew the people I’ll be mentioning below) but I thought I’d set down what I do know for now and then fill in the gaps in future posts here on the blog by 2018…
|Albert Buckle c 1915, Lathom Park training camp.|
my Official Homepage by clicking on an object that looks like it might be bigger on the inside…) I’m sure there’s more intrigue and mystery surrounding the life of Albert Buckle waiting to be discovered but my first remembrance of being aware of his existence was ironically whenever we visited friends or family in Newcastle General hospital when I was boy and my dad took us past the graveyard just outside and pointed out his grave. I recall staring at the names of my great-grandmother and great-grandfather and oddly feeling nothing at all, simply because to me back then all they were was a collection of letters and words (but of course with time and age, the frustrating thing is that now I’m slowly finding out more about them but there’s less people around to tell me).
|The type of sub my great-grandfather served on in WWI|
It’s easy to look into the past with rose-tinted glasses and turn these episodes into glorified boy’s own-style adventure tales but the reality was that William by all accounts came back with his nerves shatters and was away from my great grandmother for long periods. But with his pay (which must surely have been inflated with an increment of ‘danger money’) they were able to buy a house and my great-grandmother was able to decorate it out to a more-than-suitable condition for the times, as my mother recounts the tale.
|No surviving photo exists of my great-grandmother|
Agnes at work making propellers for WWI aircraft
It’s actually William and Agnes’s son, William Smith (Junior) who’s next up as we move into the period of the Second World War – he was considered “essential services” during World War II for his trade as an electrician at Vickers Armstrong factory in Newcastle and was spared service in the armed forces (my mother was born in 1946, just a year after the end of the War, so one wonders if he hadn’t been kept at home, whether our family story would have turned out quite a bit different after that point).
|Not sure if my paternal granddad John acted like this!|
|Did my great-uncle work on the infamous Burma Railway?|
|Coming soon - from the mind and pen of C.G.Allan...|
I don’t have many firm-held principles in my life so far but one that I will always stick to is the assertion that “history matters” and this past year I’ve joined the Heaton History Group which is helping my pursuit of my own family history no end. As I said at the outset of this post, I aim to record the oral storytelling of my family today who remember these heroes of yesterday when they were young children (namely my parents and my uncle who I blogged about earlier in 2014) so that I can complete for myself the mystery trail I’ve begun with these ‘teasers’ here in this post.
|I often wonder what my Response would be...|