I Have a Dream….a song to sing
This Abba tune has been going through my head all morning. I am reading a very good book – The Picture She Took by Fiona Shaw. It’s about the First World War and my dream last night was about the uniforms worn by the men in that war. Many men from Ireland served in that war, among them my father-in-law who died after the War but long before I met the family. The uniform that he wore was kept in the “maid’s room” in my husband’s childhood home. I can quite vividly remember the uniform and how small it seemed compared with the height of his 2 sons. It somehow seems appropriate to write about this on June 6, 2009, the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in the Second World War. It is important to remember the sacrifices made by the men and women of those generations. The book I am reading is particularly about the scars, both mental and physical, left by the First World War.
This is a photo I found on the internet. It is an officer’s uniform worn in the Manchesters Regiment in the First World War.
How I would have liked to have known my father-in-law and to learn of his experiences, if he could ever have brought himself to speak about that period of his life. (My mother-in-law, whom he married in 1927, told me he never spoke of his experiences in the War. ) He was an officer and he lost a leg in the Somme Offensive. His brother was killed in another part of France and the body was never found. I have seen photographs of my father-in-law when he was recuperating in England after he had been wounded. The nurses look most attentive. He went on to marry and father 3 children but sadly passed away still at an early age. My mother-in-law told me she thought he had been weakened not only through the loss of his leg but also from other wounds. The tragedy of war. So many lives lost, so many families losing their loved ones, and the women left to be spinsters and never know the joy of marriage and having children. It is important to remember.