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Launceston WW1 100 Event Memories

Horace Badge

WW2: Horace Badge pilot of a Lancaster bomber, killed over Switzerland. A pupil of Shebbear College and came from Broadwood Parish. Terry Badge.

Memory of the fallen

“I came upon this incredibly moving tribute to the fallen on a visit to the cards for charity shop. People were still at work putting final touches to the exhibition but kindly let me in for a preview. The tribute to those who fell and those who took part in the 1914-18 war was so moving. The collection of information about so many battles and individuals is just amazing. So much work has been involved and so many heart rending stories have been uncovered. This was no easy task. As a former Egloskerry girl I am familiar with many local war memorials on which the names of the fallen are listed. So many have familiar surnames and their memory lives on. The central exhibit, showing brave soldiers on their battle field, brought tears to my eyes. Such precious men and so brave. This was a truly wonderful tribute to the many soldiers who died for us. So many, gave so much. Thank yo all.”

Jean Whiting (nee Moffat).

Walter and William Simpson

“My grandfather, Walter Simpson joined the Lancashire Fusiliers and his brother William the Northumberland Fusiliers. They lived in West Yorkshire, Keighley but my grandfathers work as a steeplejack took him around the country. I believe he met my grandmother in Callington, Cornwall. Grandfathers ancestors originated in Scotland but were cleared out years before in the Highland clearances. They settled in West Yorkshire. My grandfather married in 1906 and had two children and a third on the way when war broke out. His third child was born in December 1914. Grandfather was at the battle of the Somme in 1916 and was gassed. He suffered with a bad chest for the rest of his life. Great uncle William did not survive, he was killed in action, Friday July 13th, 1917 aged 39. He is buried at Larchwood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery in Belgium. Grandad as I called him survived the war and my mother was born in 1920. The last years of his life he was bedridden and mum nursed him until he died in 1949 when I was two. Granny pre-deceased him two years earlier. My father fought in the Second World War in the eighth army. He was wounded at El Alamein by a land mine. Another soldier rescued my father and took him to a field hospital. My father had a slow recovery in a South African hospital and took part in the D-Day landings in 1944. I am so thankful my grandfather and father both survived two world wars and gave life to my mother and myself and two generations have arrived since us. I had two children and have one granddaughter. Thank you to grandad and dad for surviving two world wars.”

Jo Abbott

Over the Top by Sybil Bristowe

Ten more minutes! – Say yer prayers,

Read yer Bibles, pass the rum!

Ten more minutes! Strike me dumb,

‘Ow they creeps on unawares,

Those blooming minutes. Nine. It’s queer,

I’m sorter stunned. It ain’t with fear!

Eight. It’s like as if a frog

Waddled round in your inside,

Cold as ice-bloacks, straddled wide,

Tired o’ waiting. Where’s the grog?

Seven. I’ll play yer pitch and toss –

Six. – I wins, and tails yer loss.

‘Nother minute sprinted by

‘Fore I knowed it, only Four

(Break ‘em into seconds) more

‘Twixt us and Eternity.

Every word I’ve ever said

Seems a-shouting in my head.

Three. Larst night a little star

Fairly shook up in the sky,

Didn’t like the lullaby

Rattled by the dogs of War.

Funny thing – that star all white

Saw old Blighty, too, larst night.

Two. I ain’t ashamed o’ prayers,

They’re only wishes sent ter God

Bits o’ plants from bloody sod

Trailing up His golden stairs.

Ninety seconds – Well, who cares!

One –

No fife, no blare, no drum –

Over the Top – to Kingdom Come!

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