Remembrance Day has been an important day throughout my life. Several years ago my niece found a photo of a letter my paternal grandfather had written to the war office. He had served in the First World War and was injured by shrapnel. He was in Egypt at the time. From there he was eventually sent to hospitals in England before being sent home to Newfoundland. The letter mystified me. In it he pleads to be sent back to the battle fields. Why would anyone want to go back to that carnage and brutality? But I guess he simply wanted to be with his ‘brothers in arms”. It must have been hard for him to sit out the rest of the war while his friends and relatives fell under the guns. Michael Morrissey died not long after I was born. Sadly I never got to know him.
Jim Martin is my maternal grandfather. He lied about his age to join the Royal Navy during the First World War. He was only 15 or 16 years old. Later he would also serve in the Second World War. I remember him fondly. He was such a kind and gentle man. I was indeed blessed to be one of his grandchildren.Even after serving in both world wars he never lost his compassion for others or his love of family and friends. He left a legacy of decency, loyalty, and courage that will live on in his descendants.
Today I will honour my grandfathers as well as my uncles and cousins who fought for freedom. May all who served Rest in Peace.