I never met Dad’s father, Granddad. He was the second man in Feilding to sign up for the first world war. The first – his best mate – died at Gallipoli. He survived that, and the rest of the war, through perhaps luck and poor health. The latter saw him convalescing in Cornwall where he met my nana and proposed. Beguiled by the uniform she accepted: a middle class lass from Truro, daughter of a shopkeeper no less, marrying a farm labourer from Fraddon near Indian Queens.
Dad is the youngest of three: a sister five years his senior, and a brother (late) two or three years older. Nana sent them all to school with homemade pasties, sometimes meat but usually fruit, apple. Baked fresh. They were the envy of the school. There’d be a sandwich and cake too, all wrapped in paper then (and it made my dad cringe) bundled up in a checked cloth. She knew how things should be.
At the end of the war, Granddad joined the march into Cologne to start the rebuilding process, one of the few to see the start and end of the Great War.