Old Soldier

He died 25 years ago; before I knew him.  I remember his death: my mother sitting on the bottom step crying; and I cried because she was crying.  Because it was right.

My great grandfather was in his nineties.  He had lost his legs at the Somme.  He lived with my grandparents, an ever-present during childhood holidays.  After he died I would sleep in his bedroom, an artificial leg in the corner which rang if you knocked it. 

He had dark-rimmed glasses.  His head was bald.  Of his clothes I remember an ochre coloured cardigan.  Beyond that, embarrassingly, nothing.

After his death I was conscious of his empty chair when I visited my grandparents.  He was talked about, but over time even the affectionate references ceased.

Eventually even his chair was occupied – by a fat green frog filled with beans.

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About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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1 Response to Old Soldier

  1. Yep time swallows all. The terrible Natalie McGarry repeats the ‘cannon fodder’ label but men fought for many reasons and the cause was not unworthy. The behaviour of German troops in Belgium was appalling.

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