Wounded Warrior Blog Hop – Solving a Family Mystery

wounded warriors

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.

Goodbye Old Man 001

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.

Carolyn Wren.

The Protectors.  A seven book series revolving around a group of covert operatives who give up their shadowed lives to form their own agency.  If you need them, The Protectors will find you.

000 New Carolyn W Banner


17 thoughts on “Wounded Warrior Blog Hop – Solving a Family Mystery

  1. What a fascinating family discovery! I lived with my grandfather — a WWI veteran — and grew up hearing war stories. There are so many stories of courage and sacrifice. Our nation is truly blessed to have men and women willing to risk everything in support of our beliefs in freedom and democracy. Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. What a great story, finding and solving a mystery. My dad was a cook. Most of his stories were about cooking mishaps. LOL. But they served and they were proud to do it.

  3. thanks so much for a great blog hop and cause. my mothers parents served in the british army in ww2. her dad was behind enemy lines when d day happened and her mom was a wireless operation. i was lucky enough to get to know them and what great people they were b/f they died


  4. Wow! So very interesting – I hope your family mystery is solved and it can be confirmed its your grandfather in the drawing. My Dad fought in WWII at Dunkirk and then Burma/Myanmar and my uncle in WWI. Luckily they both came out of it relatively ok.

  5. The drawing made me want to cry. It gives an even more poignant example of the heartbreak of war. I share the others’ hopes that you’re able to unravel this mystery. The print is something I’d cherish and pass down for generations to come. What a treasure!

    Thank you for participating in the Wounded Warrior Blog Hop! Our wounded heroes deserve our respect and support. My husband and I are also veterans, and when we go out, he wears his Desert Storm ball cap. It always warms my heart when someone stops to thank him for his service.

  6. My heart hurts for your father and grandfather – true heroes! I hope you find out the truth about the picture someday. Thank you for being a part of this event to help others who have done so much to help us.

  7. What an intriguing story and mystery.
    It’s a great cause. I’m glad you’re participating.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

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