I once was lost, but now am found...
Posted by Hendrix on Mar 8th, 2011
Monday the 7th, possibly the most dissapointing moment of my life.
I have always been one of those people who has taken immense pride in the actions of my grandparents, greatgrandparents, and other relatives during the struggles we have found ourselves locked into as defenders of what is right.
I would often spend hours wrapped in a trance as my maternal grandfather regalled me with stories of his shenanigans in France, Germany, Palestine and Korea, sitting bare kneed, legs crossed on the carpet drinking tea and eating garibaldis whilst i stepped into his boots as he ran around, capturing bridges, clearing minefields, and generally being the swashbuckling hero that every grandfather should be to his eldest Grandchild. He was a young lad when he joined up, 16 years old according to his birth certificate, but older (he had been born in Ireland, but not been registered until his family moved to England in 1930) so as such, easily passed for his true age of 19. He Joined early on in the war, deciding on going for a career rather than just war-time service, and served with the Royal Electronic and Mechanical Engineers, before doing P Company (or the equivalent back then!) So he could be attached to the Parachute Regiment, and therefore earn that little bit more pay! He Served in various places, but talked only really of Arnhem during the war.
After this, he was sent to Palestine (Which he did not talk about at all). Following this, he served in various places including the Malayan Emergency before he was wounded in Korea. He had a metal plate in his foot, and since had walked funny for the rest of his life.
My grandfather and I were extremely close. After i Left the Army i had gone to live with him and my grandmother, and we would sit around swapping stories of various exploits. He passed away in 2004, and I ws more distraught than i have ever been in my life to lose him and have struggled since.
I found out yesterday that he told my grandmother when he died that he had not served in the military, that his 'injured' foot was the result of being twinned in the womb with his stillborn brother and had barred him from joining the army. He had not seen service anywhere.
What pissed me off more than anything are the lies and the stories. He did not have to tell me that stuff, he did not have to lie - i would of looked up to him not matter what. Im struggling right now to deal with this.