Sunday, 14 June 2015

Talking to Family and War Letters

Another story of Nicola Robinson’s came about from talking to family members.


I discovered I had a great uncle who lived locally and I met him for the first time in his home. He was a lovely chap. He showed me some photos of himself, his mother, his brothers etc.

He was one of four brothers who fought in the Second World War. Sadly the youngest died on Dec 5th 1944 and is buried in Forli, Italy.

My Great Uncle Sid had kept the letters, which had been sent to my Great Grandmother. The official letter stated that her son been killed in action. Then there was a letter sent by the squadron leader and later another that told the family the lads had done a collection and had sent some money.

This was followed by a short note explaining that some additional monies had been collected and would be sent on later and that he also had his medals in his possession. It was very poignant and touching reading through these.

Cemetery at Forli
Photo courtesy of New Zealand War Graves Project

There was a lovely photo of two of the brothers, meeting up abroad because one had swapped sections to surprise his brother! Being war heroes was in their blood as their father was a staff sergeant and when he died in 1927 he had a ceremonious funeral where the guard rode their horses backwards and the bugler played the last post. This was detailed in the Oldham Chronicle.

A very useful site to reseach those who died during the two world wars is The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.