The Great War: My Grandad - He Had the Taste of What Was to Come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FARAWAY: GRANDAD HAVING SOME TIME OFF.

My grandad always like to hear tales of escaping from tight spots. The younger ones never let him down.

Adapted by Frank Morris

Grandad was fed up. It was no use telling him he was a marvel for his age. He only grumbled more about his legs and not being as young as he used to be.  He was a rifleman during the 1914-18 war and won several medals for doing so.

He called it, with some indignation, the great hullabaloo.

He said it was a young man’s world, and other things like that. Granny lost her patience.

“You’re hale and hearty,” she said. “What’s got into you love.” The fact was the war had got to grandad.
His little house was on the country road near the camp at Ballarat, Victoria. And many a time he leaned over the gate and watched the troops walking into town. “Wish I was young enough to my bit again,” he said wistfully.
“What’s the good of an old chap like me?”

One warm evening a young soldier was passing the house and called out, “Looks cool in your garden, mister!” And grandad called backed eagerly, ”Well, come in a sit a bit.” He was called the young soldier “pal” as they passed each other.   
Soon they were under the tree munching on some juicy golden peaches.

GRANDAD IS HAPPY!

“Come on in!” he shouted. And you couldn’t see the grass for the bevy of khaki coloured soldiers. Grandad was in his element.

That started it.

“Drop in any time,” said grandad. “Grandma and I will be glad to see you.” And most nights you will find half a dozen or more soldiers making themselves at home. Writing letters at the round table in the dining room, or playing the old piano; it was very relaxing.

Meantime, grandma darns a sock or sews on a button for someone. Grandad is happy. In fact, he and grandma are so happy to feel like they’re doing something for “the young ‘uns.” It doesn’t need wealth or strength to give true service to others.

It’s the willing spirit that really counts.

My Grandad suffered from a crook heart just after he returned from World War 1. But somehow he always managed beat it. Finally, it took him in July, 1999. He was a spirited 99.

Picture. Tight spot. My grandad loved hearing about adventures of escape. He told a few of them himself.


DEAR READERS …

THIS IS MY LAST PAGE FOR THE YEAR. IN THE NEW YEAR, ON JANUARY 5, 2018, WE START UP AGAIN.    WE’LL CONTINUED WITH THE FEATURES WE MISSED OUT IN DECEMBER. WE’LL INTRODUCE A LOT OF INTERESTING AND VARIED CONTENTS. THERE’S A CHANGE COMING TO GRAND YEARS, TOO. I AND THE GRAND YEARS TEAM BEG YOU TO DRIVE SAFELY HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEARS. – FRANK MORRIS

 


HEY BOY! I THINK ‘PAKEHA’ MEANS EUROPEAN

There’s a lot of people in our street and a lot of things are happening all the time. Here’s one thing that will really surprise you: Maoris in NZ don’t usually all live together!

JANE HILL, BERNIE HILL      Adapted by Frank Morris

(Long) before the pakeha came here, and for a long while after that, Maori used to live together in tribes, in big pas. “Pa” is the Maori word for village. I know a few Maoris words, but only the old people in our street can speak Maori properly.

And I think ‘pakeha’ means European.

Anyway, in the old days, families and friends always stuck together; and the strong tribes used to spend a lot of their time fighting the other tribes. Now, most Maoris live in the pakeha way, in separate houses, and sometimes a long way from their relatives.

That’s why we’re so lucky in our street because we all live together.

CHURCH ON SUNDAY

The reason why we’re lucky: we all used to live in an old pa down by the sea. It wasn’t like a real Maori pa, because the houses were mostly wooden shacks with corrugated-iron roofs.

All the buildings in the pa were pretty old, and there weren’t any proper washhouses and bathroom in most of them. The church and the meeting-house were the two most important buildings; and we all went to church on Sundays; we had the meeting-house on other evenings.

I don’t remember the pa myself, because I was only one year old when the Government decided to build us a whole new street of houses on the hill above the pa. We all moved up there a few years ago, and the Government pulled down the whole pa, except for the church and cemetery.

They tidied up the land and sowed grass, and this is the park where we play. Everybody liked their new houses and felt proud of them. But they didn’t build fences and grow hedges around them like the pakehas do.

The only thing wrong with the street is that it’s a long way to the church; and we haven’t got a meeting-house any more.

>> Hey Boy by Jane and Bernie Hill; Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Picture: The two youngest: Ben and Andre are the babies of the family. They often try to help but that usually means that I have clean up the mess they make.


CHATTER: SPIDERS – PAINFUL BITE, VENOMOUS TO BOOT

 

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 18 December 17

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