Please use this link to return to the Secret Cravings Publishing blogspot and visit the other authors participating in this worthy event.
My publishers, Secret Cravings Publishing, are holding a blog hop this weekend to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project. Each participating author will donate $30 to this wonderful cause if they receive 30 comments on their post.
I would like to take this opportunity to try and solve a bit of a family mystery. My family has a strong military background. My Father fought in WW2 as part of the British Royal and Merchant Navy. My grandfather fought in WW1 in the British army, and returned to his family with terrible PTSD from which he never fully recovered.
The attached poignant picture ‘Goodbye Old Man’ by famous war artist Matania, hung on the wall of my parents’ house my entire life. As a devoted animal lover, it always made me sad to see the touching scene of a man bidding goodbye to his trusted and faithful companion.
It wasn’t until my Father passed and I was packing away his possessions, that I realized the back of the picture contained a written notation and a photograph stating the man and horse in the picture is my grandfather. The notation is clearly in my Fathers hand writing and seems to have been done when he was very young, judging by the spelling errors.
After some research I discovered the original picture was commissioned by, and is owned by the Blue Cross Society in England. I contacted them and asked if they had any information. They have no idea who the soldier is, and always assumed it was drawn from the artists imagination.
I am now in the process of sorting through my Fathers possessions to try and find out more information on Bombardier John Boyd Russell and find out if the story is true.
I never really knew my grandfather. He died when I was about 10 years old. I know he did fight at the Battle of the Somme, and did suffer dreadfully on his return to civilian life.
Ironically, my Father also suffered from horrendous PTSD after WW2, which haunted him his entire life. It makes me sad that neither of these two wonderfully brave men ever received the treatment they so desperately needed after their devoted service to the war effort.
The Blue Cross have made a note of my findings, and I do hope this family mystery can one day be solved.
Please leave a comment, visit all the authors participating in this weekend event, and support the wonderful causes that help today’s soldiers regain their civilian lives.
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