Monday, November 03, 2014

The fortunes of war

We were sitting at the lunch table a few weeks ago, my mother, three of her four children, two of her grand daughters and her great grand daughter. R was there too, along with one of the granddaughters partners.

Somehow the subject of my maternal grandfather came up. Mother, what year was he born? 1895 I think, she replied. Perfect age to go to WWI, but he did not. Mother explained that he was required to stay home as he was a market gardener producing vegetables and Australia badly needed the production.

I gazed along the table. What if he had gone to war and was killed? Only R and Shane would be sitting at the lunch table, which yes, is a silly thing to say, but it was funny when I said that without grandpop it would be a very quiet lunch with just R and Shane and none of grandpop's descendants.

Well, this is a pretty boring post. I forgot to take photos when I was recently nearby, so hop over to Janine's blog, The Resident Judge of Port Phillip, and take a look at the native grasses adorning the steps of our State Library. The post is quite a good read too, with some interesting detail of the very early days of Melbourne.

20 comments:

  1. Andrew, it also an interesting post. Your friend's post is nice too. But I prefer yours!!

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  2. I wonder sometimes along similar paths. I think my paternal grandfather died in one of the camps in Germany. As did my father's siblings (if he had them). He made an oyster look garrulous - and probably for good reason.
    I loved the shrubbery (though I can't help thinking Monty Python. Thanks for the link.

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    1. EC, you father was the only survivor of the family? Sad.

      I am not a fan of MP, so I'm afraid I don't get that reference.

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    2. "Bring me a shrubbery" I love that movie! Think I'll watch it this arvo.

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    3. Odd River, because I have heard that line used somewhere.

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  3. My dad went to war and wrote to my mum in the war so if he didn't go I wouldn't be here as they would never have met as they come from different states.
    Merle...............

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    1. Yes, good point. You may have still be here in some form or other.

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  4. It is how it's planned I guess. Interesting all the same.

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    1. WA, a slight change many years ago could make a massive difference.

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  5. Wondering 'what if' often comes up in our house lol. 'If only' comes up as well but certainly doesn't generate the same sort of feeling.

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    1. Cathy, I think about that in relation to car accidents. What if I fumbled with the car keys and was delayed for a second, but the reverse works too.

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  6. PS
    Meant to ask if you managed to get a photo of all those relies together at your Mum's place?
    Cathy

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    1. We did, but they were mostly of the 8 month old great grand daughter.

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  7. I think of that same question often - who lives to a decent age Vs who dies young changes. It moulds the way our families developed, which countries we grew up in etc.... But it is all totally random!!

    My grandfather survived WW1 and the Russian Revolution because he became a soldier-translator (Russian, Yiddish, English, French, German, Hebrew plus a bit of Polish). Had he been an ordinary soldier in the trenches, his life would have been as unprotected as his contemporaries.

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    1. All those languages Hels, truly amazing to someone who is monolingual. It is a good thing he survived. Education is such an asset in life.

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  8. I'm sure your little part of the world is much richer for having you in it. Without your Grandpop, your soul may still have been born, but it wouldn't be 'you'.

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    1. River, would I be the same but look different?

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  9. An interesting way to look at a family dinner. My paternal grandfather was in WWI as a gunner. Luckily he survived. My dad was an only child.

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    1. Diane, I can really understand why people had so many children back then. It was a matter of odds of survival. You father without siblings would have been unusual.

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