11 November 2014

Lest We Forget

It is 100 years since the start of the Great War, and among the annual Remembrance for the Fallen in all conflicts since, particular attention is being given to those involved in WW1. The ceramic poppies filling the moat of the Tower of London is one such act.

I am concentrating on something smaller, something closer to home, but no less poignant. Across Hull and the East Riding displays make us stop, and think. This one is at the Ferens Art Gallery. Tap the image for a closer view. 

The central portion is made up of the poppies worn by many up and down the country, produced by the British Legion which sells them to raise funds for the benefit of our maimed armed forces. The outer poppies were all hand-made by primary school children from the city. The white flecks are parcel tags, each tied to a poppy and bearing the name of a young man who never returned to his family from World War 1.

There were those who did, of course, perhaps injured but grateful to be back in Blighty. 

One such man was my grandfather, Joseph Kammerer, a rully-man who worked for the local railway company - a reserved occupation - before being given special dispensation to join up in 1916.

While in France he was involved in an incident marked on official paperwork as an "own shell explosion". This eventually sent him back to Hull to be cared for in Reckitt's Hospital. And there he died, on 5th November 1918 - of the influenza pandemic that killed so many more than the guns of WW1.

                                                        RIP - every one

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