Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Bantam relation...



Scrobs attended the funeral of his last living relative from the previous generation, a few days ago. There were about twenty there, and most were from 'the other side' of the family, which is fine by me, as there aren't many left from my lot anyway!

But I heard an interesting point from a cousin's husband, who is well into writing the family tree, and is now back into the sixteen hundreds, (what ever good that will do, I don't know, but there you are, it's his pastime)!

My Great Uncle John wasn't allowed to join up for the First World War, as he was too short! Presumably he was less than 5'3" in his socks, but he was a miner, and therefore a damn sight better equipped than a bloke a foot taller in that job, but there you are, the powers that be decreed that such people couldn't enrol to fight for King and Country!

So, when they got a little short of numbers in France, a call went out to relax this height restriction, and get more numbers in the ranks! They were called Bantam Regiments, for obvious reasons, and while I'm so proud to know that another member of the family answered the call, I'm saddened to learn that he fell in 1916, and never returned. Apparently, he was supposed to be going to Africa, then the regiment suddenly turned back to northern France and he died there.

I'd like to think that a tough little bugger like my Great Uncle John, would know that after all these years, we'll know that his height was never as big as his heart, and that this year, we're remembering people like him!

4 comments:

Thud said...

God bless him and the countless others who made life such as it is easier for the both of us.

Electro-Kevin said...

Some of the best fighters are short. Size is no measure of a man.

I was at the Plymouth memorial the other day. Souls lost in both World Wars were inscribed there but only those naval ships from Plymouth. Truly shocking numbers nonetheless.

Scrobs... said...

Thanks, Thud!

Of course, I never met him, but there will always be a bit of my lot entwined somewhere in France!

Scrobs... said...

I'm about 5'7", Elecs, so am more like a front-row forward than a fleeting winger...

Interesting comment about Plymouth though, if you go to Gibralter, there are graveyards by the roads, all with names from sailing/war days!