The date is August 1914. The British Expeditionary Force is in France and You're in the Royal Field Artillery. You're riding alongside one of the battery's gun limbers on its way to the assigned position on the east side of Mons, Belgium. This begins your journey into the Hell they called World War One. To purchase this historical memoir go to https://createspace.com/3649268

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Research

It took over two years trying to find information on the three soldiers that were involved in the promise. There names were Pudgie Taylor, Bobby Glue and George Bramwell.

There were numerous issues to deal with, the first major hurtle was that the events took place almost 100 years ago and number two on the list was the destruction of WWI documents when the archive building was demolished during the Blitz in WWII. The other problems were minor, such as nicknames, trying to perform my research from the US side of the pond and the way the British recorded things.

What helped me was the knowledgeable people on some of the WWI forums I had joined. Many were experts on WWI and most were located in the UK. A case in point was the rank my grandfather held at one time in the Royal Field Artillery (RFA). Early in his military career he held the rank of bombardier, which in the US it conjures-up visions of a bombardier aboard an aircraft that drops bombs. With this in mind and knowing that my grandfather also served in the Royal Air Force a year and a half before the war ended. To me two plus two equaled four, but not in the British army. Bombardier was a rank within the RFA, something on par as a corporal.

In the collection of war documents within the box was a dark brown piece of what looks like scrap paper. Written in pencil there was a message scribbled on one side. It made reference to a bird that was shot down and those that observed it being hit by British anti-aircraft guns couldn't identify which AA battery actually brought it down. Again the experts set me straight for I thought it was shot down over London. Why, because my grandfather established the anti-aircraft batteries around Liverpool. With the information written on the slip of paper, the experts collaborated and agreed that the bird was shot down over Paris. I was also informed that bird referred to an airplane not a zeppelin.

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