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101 years ago today...

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  • 21-06-2018 1:38pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,500 ✭✭✭


    sometime between dawn's stand-to and dusk, my maternal grandfather, Private William Victor Collins 6th Dragoon Guards, died in action somewhere on the Somme.

    He lies buried in a small military cemetery just to the North of the village of Templeux-le-Guérard, in the Departement of the Somme. Alongside him is a fellow soldier from the same regiment - perhaps they knew each other, perhaps not.

    I've been to visit him - the first of our far-flung family every to do so, and it's a fine place to rest, if rest you must. He was a bit of a rogue, but he had joined up about a week before the declaration of war, knowing the inevitability of what was happening around him, so he was no coward. He lived an unimaginable life, from the very beginning, and almost made it to the end. If he had lived, so many lives, my own included, would have been very different - I might not be he here at all, nor any of my side of the family.

    With so many young men of promise swallowed up by bullet and shell and mud, a world with them in it would be very different, that's for sure.

    I'll be raising a glass to him tonight, not remembering him, but the man who took his place when my grandma remarried in 1919. He is the grandad I remember with great love and fond memories, but I can't help wonder how it might have been.

    tac


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,109 ✭✭✭enfield


    From FMP


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,500 ✭✭✭tac foley


    Thank you for that, Sir. I'm very much obliged to you. William Collins had been forced into marrying my grandma (Mrs N Collins = Nellie Collins) in February of 1914 - my mom was born on July 31st, but he had long gone, having enlisted in the 6th DG in Glasgow, stating that he was single. My grandma spent a lot of time trying to track him down and get some financial assistance from him. He was finally ordered to go and visit them in April of 1917, and to make an allotment out of his pay towards their upkeep. He saw his daughter just once, and she remembered his visit till her dying day. He had picked her up, and she had caught her leg on one of his spurs, cutting it deeply. She bore the scar all her life.

    I'd be grateful if you could advise me what FMP signifies.

    Best

    tac


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,109 ✭✭✭enfield


    No bother.
    FMP=Findmypast. It a pay for view genealogy site. You will have to register first but his records are here;-
    https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBM/WO363-4/007303404/00646&parentid=GBM/WO363-4/7303404/30/646


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,500 ✭✭✭tac foley


    I guess that's where all the other letters that I have came from. A close friend of ours in Oregon, who found a lot more about my dad's side, is a
    researcher for the CoLDS. It came as no surprise to find out that out of a family of six siblings, only my dad, William, was actually called Bill. My aunts Lou and Maisie were Julia and Marie-Christine, for example... With my grandfather being a Cork man, when he came to register his son's birth on February 14th 1904, the register clerk, probably English, listened to him pronouncing 'Valentine' [note the birthdate] and wrote down 'Ballantyne'.

    Best

    tac


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24,878 ✭✭✭✭arybvtcw0eolkf


    My own grandfather fought on the Somme too, and thankfully survived the war.

    Moving on a few generations and I'm serving in Lebanon with the UN and chatting to the lad on duty with me about the army and family members who've served and what a coincidence,

    Both his grandfather and my great grandfather served together in the 9th Bn Royal Dublin Fusiliers and here we are, their grand children serving together in our home unit, and abroad in someone else's war!.

    In a war which a generation thought was the war to end all wars little did the two lads know that in almost a hundred year later their grandchildren would be serving in another war far from home.

    My friends grandfather was killed in Turkey.


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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    My own grandfather fought on the Somme too, and thankfully survived the war.

    Moving on a few generations and I'm serving in Lebanon with the UN and chatting to the lad on duty with me about the army and family members who've served and what a coincidence,

    Both his grandfather and my great grandfather served together in the 9th Bn Royal Dublin Fusiliers and here we are, their grand children serving together in our home unit, and abroad in someone else's war!.

    In a war which a generation thought was the war to end all wars little did the two lads know that in almost a hundred year later their grandchildren would be serving in another war far from home.

    My friends grandfather was killed in Turkey.

    Ah here....you’ll have to share that one to cosantoir. Remarkable!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 24,878 ✭✭✭✭arybvtcw0eolkf


    Ah here....you’ll have to share that one to cosantoir. Remarkable!

    Never even thought of that!.. I'll ask my mate if he has a photo of his grandfather, I have some of mine in RDF uniform.

    I know I don't have any of me and my buddy from that trip (88th Bn), which is a pity. But we still serve together in the same unit!.


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