11th November was Armistice Day. It has now been 90 years since the First World War ended. A war that claimed the lives of around 20 million people.
This means that it has been 91 years since the death of my Great Grandfather, Herbert Martin. He was a Private in the 7th Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment but was killed in a train accident in Boulogne, France on 17th October 1917. The Battalion landed in Boulogne in September 1915. He was 33 and a father of four sons, all under the age of 8yrs.
His little brother Albert died the following year in Germany, apparently as a Prisoner of War in a coalmine (but that remains to be proven). He was just 19.
His sister and brother-in-law, Emma and John Goodge also died during the War.
This is just one part of my family that was touched by the First World War. Every single person lost someone and every family dreaded to hear that their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons would not be coming home again. I can’t begin to imagine what that must feel like, and I hope I never do.
These were exceptionally brave men. Heroes. Thrown together into an impossible situation in which a large number of them didn’t stand a hope in surviving. I am immensely proud of my relatives who fought for their future – our future.
There is seldom a day that passes where I don’t think about our brave men.