today we remember all of those fallen in war
today i think of
~my great granddad johney gaul
born in Wales to parents from Kilmacow in Kilkenny, Southern Ireland and one of ten children.
he died of wounds in Flanders on 17th September 1918 age 27.
the words that have been passed down the family recounts johney as a little bit of a loveable scoundrel~he had been in the navy and had jumped ship in portsmouth where he met great gran nellie-maud betteridge. he settled in portsmouth where he would tour the pubs, playing his accordian and singing until being dragged out by nellie.
he had been injured fighting on the somme in 1916, being sent to Netley Military hospital to recover. his return to france was in 1917 where, being seen off by nellies mother Elizabeth and sister Liz at portsmouth, he sat on a pile of crates and sung 'when i leave this world behind'~this was the last time he was seen by them.
'I’ll leave the sunshine to the flowers,
I’ll leave the springtime to the trees;
And to the old folks I’ll leave the mem’ries
Of a baby upon their knees.
I’ll leave the nighttime to the dreamers,
I’ll leave the songbirds to the blind;
I’ll leave the moon above
To those in love
When I leave the world behind,
When I leave the world behind'
~my great, great uncle john betteridge.
he went to france as part of the British Expiditionary Force in 1916 age 19 and he died on 21st October 1918 in a prisoner of war camp of influenza aged 21.