I adored my Grandad. Today as we celebrate 75 years since VE Day I find my thoughts are drawn back to him.
While he was alive he was just ‘ Grandad Clarke‘ to my younger brother Mark and I. My Mum’s Dad who smoked a pipe , had an annoying budgie that sang. Enjoyed a cheeky glass of Sherry , ate tripe , ALWAYS wore a shirt and tie and made the best eggs and soldiers.
He didn’t speak very much my Grandad but he had a kind face and a smile that could light up a room . I guess that’s where my Mum got it from [but my mum could talk! ]
It was only after he died and I was old enough to understand that I found out my Grandad had spent the majority of his life serving his country as a solider in the British Army. Grandad Clarke was in fact ‘Lieutenant [Quarter Master] Edwin Clarke Corps of Royal Engineers.
He died when I was 9.
My Mum was left in possession of his numerous photo albums and I have over the years spent many an hour just flicking though them discovering a Grandad that was alien to me . Fascinated by a life I knew nothing about and a time gone by; wishing I could have just one more conversation with him and thinking of all the questions I would ask.
Saying that my Dad tells me that my Grandad rarely spoke about his time in the military but that when he did it was usually to him. Dad informs me he was ‘crack shot‘ and he took his camera everywhere with him. He was ‘officially unofficially’ the regiments photographer. Perhaps part of my Grandad lives on a me in so much as I too love photography.
I don’t like to draw comparisons to what my grandad went through and what’s going on today with the Coranavirus … it is a battle yes and it is awful . It is similar yet it is a totally different . Hero’s I’ve found come in all shapes, sizes and colour and everyone of them in their own way has / is playing their own part. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
I guess somethings don’t need words … so here are a very few of my Grandads photos that I thought I’d share with you today
To all our hero’s past and present a huge thank you …
But firstly here’s my Grandad – middle of bottom row and below. He joined the KOYLI’s in 1922 and was posted to India , later joining the Royal Engineers
And some of his fabulous photos [albums full like below] ... as you’d expect the quality of some of them isn’t great.
7th Brigade Office – Rageol 1926
7th Brigade Signals Winners – Razmak Hockey Cup 1926
Maybe one day I will share some more.
Until next time , Tracey