One of the Many

This is my great-uncle.

My great-uncle

My great-uncle

This is where he lived with his mother and father, brothers and sisters.

Family Home

Family Home

This is the ship that took him to war.

Troopship MaunganuiDeck scene on the troopship Maunganui. Atkinson, J :Photographs taken in the Middle East during World War I, and postcards of New Zealand. Ref: PAColl-0095-002. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23169854

Troopship Maunganui Deck scene on the troopship Maunganui. Atkinson, J :Photographs taken in the Middle East during World War I, and postcards of New Zealand. Ref: PAColl-0095-002. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23169854

This is where he was wounded. In the guts.

Poppies, Gallipoli

Poppies, Gallipoli

This is where he died; on a hospital ship.

Place of Death     At Sea, HMHS Neuralia ex Gallipoli Date of Death     15 August 1915 Year of Death     1915 Cause of Death     Died of wounds

Place of Death At Sea, HMHS Neuralia ex Gallipoli
Date of Death 15 August 1915
Year of Death 1915
Cause of Death Died of wounds

Buried at sea, 1915, August 15, somewhere between Gallipoli and Alexandria.

But remembered here

Lone Pine Memorial, Lone Pine Cemetery, Anzac, Turkey

Lone Pine Memorial, Lone Pine Cemetery, Anzac, Turkey

and here.

One of Otago's 1900

One of Otago’s 1900

He was one of the many;  one of the 1,900 young ones, of Otago, killed during World War One; one of the 18,000 New Zealanders who died between 1914-1918; one of the 888,246 British and Commonwealth fatalities. One of…….. the list that never ends.

 

Does he rest in peace?  I can’t.

 

Acknowledgement: with thanks to my brother for his photos of the Poppies and the Lone Pine Memorial, at Gallipoli.

© silkannthreades

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133 thoughts on “One of the Many

  1. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    Gallivanta – A moving tribute to your uncle who gave his life doing what he believed was the right thing for him to do. Isn’t that how many young men actually end up in the midst of war.
    I had no knowledge of the poppy memorial and especially thank you for sharing this with us. It’s a beautiful and moving tribute and reminded me in many ways of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC in its quiet eloquent way. Sheri

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I have only seen the Vietnam Memorial in photos but I imagine I would find it very moving if I were to visit it. Most war memorials or war cemeteries make me cry. They are always profoundly beautiful and profoundly sad.

      Reply
  2. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    this post also struck a strong cord, one with a polar opposite reaction to the previous one. he is surely smiling down on you and cherishes the sensitive way you have shared his story.

    why can’t our species evolve past war and hatred? there are so many senseless deaths.

    z

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      He might be quite surprised to know that we still think of him; we, who were not even a twinkle in anyone’s eye when he died. We have no way of knowing, and it probably wasn’t so, but I do hope he had someone nearby to help him in his dying.

      Reply
  3. womanseyeview

    A loving tribute and such a personal and very poignant way to tell your great uncles story. I’m not sure why but I found the photo of his family home compelling – thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I would love to see inside it. (Sometimes I think I would like to own it!) But the day we went by, no one was at home. I left a note in the mailbox but no one contacted me. 😦 There is a beautiful view from the house grounds. Perhaps you sensed the importance of this house to me!

      Reply
  4. Clanmother

    “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
    We will remember them.”
    Laurence Binyon

    A profound tribute! I have been in and out of WIFI. Don’t want to miss your posts!!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Clanmother. The lack of WIFI makes me think you are still enjoying some holiday time.
      “As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
      Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
      As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
      To the end, to the end, they remain.”
      Laurence Binyon

      Reply
      1. Clanmother

        Thank you for these words! I’m still in Scotland following the bagpipes and Robbie Burns. There was a bagpipe band from New Zealand! So we are still connected….

        Reply
  5. Mary Mageau

    A deeply moving tribute here, Gallivanta. We are dredging up so many TV shows and books now, dealing with the wounds World War I has left on many families. Will there ever be another world war? NO, because we the people won’t allow it!

    Reply
  6. utesmile

    What a lovely tribute to your great uncle. It is horrible how many young people, well people died and specially when one was family. We never forget them!
    I have shown my sister your beautiful “moments” book and she loved it. I told her about you, she knows Christchurch well, been there couple of times. She saw all the thought which went into the book and we went into all the details… and it is so calming she said too. I had my sister here for a week and we had a wonderful time together! I really do have the best sister in the world!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      How lovely you had such a great time with your sister. Next time she comes to Christchurch you must let me know. Then I can show her all the places in the little book. And we gather up some more calm moments to send to you. Of course, I would do the same if you came, too. I was looking through an old post and found one of your comments in which you told me your father’s name was Alfred. In some references, Alfred means wise counsel or old peace. Isn’t that a calming thought? Do you know if he lost many relatives in the war? Was there great sorrow for him?

      Reply
      1. utesmile

        Thank you I will let her know. I could come with her…even. You know my dad was always a very calm and patient man, totally his name. He was a single child and his dad lost his leg in the first war with 21. My dad became a POW and was for years in America picking apricots as he said. I only know of the brother of my godmother who passed away too. He was missing and never made it back to the family. nobody ever knew what happened to him, no grave… nothing. My dad never liked talking about the war and it was hard to get stories out of him.

        Reply
        1. utesmile

          You are right. My dad went first to Trinidad, and then to California. He said they treated them well and he was happy to be a POW. No fighting. My dad certainly was no fighter. I am in the house right now and see the paintings again. 😊

  7. Marylin Warner

    I cried as I read this post, Gallivanta. Stated so simply, powerfully, with just a few pictures supporting the words. And yet such emotionally unfinished, the pain of a life cut short, the sorrow of all the “what might beens” and how the world would have been different had he lived.
    You did a beautiful job with this tribute to him.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Marylin for your compassion. It is a sad story common to almost every family in New Zealand. And, sadder still, is to have a life reduced to a few brief lines on paper records and a headstone. Most of his siblings lived productive and good lives. I imagine Edward would have, too, if he had survived.

      Reply
  8. Daniela

    Hi,
    I found your post truly beautiful tribute not only to your great uncle but to all man who were sacrificed to blind machinery of war … that war and all the wars that followed since. Thank you.

    Reply
  9. lagottocattleya

    A sad but beautiful post. War is something we will never be free of. No matter what we learn from wars, it seems we are doomed to never understand that it is useless, worthless, disastrous…This year we celebrate 200 years of peace in Sweden. We are lucky so far.
    I didn’t know of the installation of poppies – a good way of illustrating the loss of lives.

    Reply
  10. The Twisted Yarn

    A sad and moving post. We never learn, as a species, do we? The horror of WW1 isn’t that long ago, yet current developments in the Middle East and beyond are terrifying. So sad. Generations to come will be writing about their senseless losses, too.

    Reply
  11. BEAUTYCALYPSE

    Oh each war said to be the war to end all wars… I understand your pain, A.!!
    We, too, have many archival pictures of relatives, young men that died as teenagers because they lied about their age and went to war (WWII). Their lives ended oft so tragically, in pain, far away from their homes. They were only children. I haven’t even met their mothers who died before I was born (grand aunts of my mum) and I don’t have kids myself, but I can feel their pain and loss to an extent that makes me wonder: If more people felt like this, would wars – end?

    (Very confused and naive writing, excuse me)

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      If only the pain were sufficient to end war…but it seems to me that no matter how much the mothers say, “Don’t go”, the young will still go, or they will be made to go by older men, who should know better. Do you see your family features in those archival photos? That’s what I find startling. It’s like looking at myself/or my brother and being angry that I/we am/are dead…very weird feeling.

      Reply
      1. BEAUTYCALYPSE

        War is being glorified for a reason. But I don’t want to dwell on that today.

        I know exactly what you mean. A very weird feeling indeed.

        On a more positive note… The picture of your relative that you’ve shared – he looks a bit like Tony Curtis 🙂

        Reply
        1. BEAUTYCALYPSE

          I find it inspiring and beautiful to discover artistic passions in the family. We have an actress, several painters and authors 🙂 At least that’s all we know, and we know little.

  12. Juliet

    Gallivanta, this is so tragic and sad, and so powerfully written. So much loss of young lives. I can feel your pain.

    Reply
      1. Juliet

        Thank you for the link to the letter, Gallivanta. I actually included this song in Celebrating the Southern Seasons, with a slightly updated translation. It’s great to see the old letter in the Bay of Plenty Times. I always like to track back closer to the source.

        Reply
      2. Juliet

        No, I haven’t come across any recordings of the song. Would love to though. (Am replying up here as there are no more reply boxes coming down under your comment.)

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I have had another search via Google but nothing comes up. Maybe one day one of us will find a recording, and how wonderful that will be.

  13. Cynthia Reyes

    Thank you for sharing this in a way that is both stark and moving.

    So many lives lost in that and other wars.
    So much life and talent snuffed out.
    So many left wondering why the hell this had to happen.
    I’m sorry, Gallivanta.
    My condolences, way after the fact.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Cynthia. Yes, so much life and talent gone, and even those who came home seemed to have shortened or limited lives. In your recent post we were discussing grief and the little deaths, year after year. August, post 1915 must have been a tough anniversary for my great grandmother and her family. Edward died on 15th; two days later on 17 August, Edward’s namesake died at 8 weeks. The little baby was born to Edward’s brother, James and his wife Amelia. Tough!

      Reply
  14. mmmarzipan

    Thank you for sharing this story. I am so sorry for your family’s loss and the loss of all those lives. Tragic 😦
    Such a powerful tale you have told here. I am glad that his life is being honoured by your beautifully worded tribute. Very moving.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you MM. I know so little about my great-uncle but I don’t want his story to be lost. He has a street named after him but I don’t know if his name is on any memorial in NZ. Another commenter mentioned that Sweden celebrated 200 years of peace on 15 August. So that is a good anniversary to remember with my sad one.

      Reply
  15. restlessjo

    28! And as you say- one of many, Ann. I’ve managed to avoid the unceasing warfare that goes on while I was away but the second you return and put on the TV or radio, it’s all around you.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      That is exactly so! One can refuse to read the paper, turn off the TV, the radio,etc but we can’t isolate ourselves completely from a reality that needs to be addressed.

      Reply
  16. Mélanie

    so many human tragedies… WW 1 is usually called in French “the huge dirty war”…
    * * *
    @”Does he rest in peace? I can’t.” – 😦 … I do hope and wish you could asap… ❤

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The huge dirty war….how appropriate. And, yes, I must not dwell in melancholy too long. It doesn’t really help anyone. And as Brecht says in “Everything Changes” (Alles wandelt sich), “What has happened has happened. And the water you once poured into the wine cannot be drained off again. ….You can make a fresh start with your final breath.”

      Reply
      1. Mélanie

        ❤ Glad to read your common sense statement… 🙂 we'd all return to the past if we could change, modify or improve it, but NO way, our only choice/alternative is to move on and forward, even though it's often hard… btw, a true and genuine Rammy gal lives in the PRESENT and rarely looks back… you may have seen the Latin motto of my life: memento mori, carpe diem, et gaudeamus igitur! = remember you'll die, live this very day and enjoy it to the fullest… 🙂
        * * *
        I forgot to mention that after D-day in Normandy(last June), France has celebrated this morning the D-day in Provence: 70 years ago…
        http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2014/08/15/debarquement-de-provence-commemorations-quete-sens-present_n_5674191.html?utm_hp_ref=france

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          You have a great motto. I enjoy reading it when I visit your blog. And you live your motto, too. And, most of the time, I am a true Rammy! Interesting link. The writer seems to think that it is time to get back to the present….and important questions like unemployment. Not a bad idea. Keeping people well-fed and decently paid tends to make them happy and less inclined to war.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks YC. The placing of the poppies makes a very dramatic statement. I also thought this commemorative piece was wonderful, too. Shows how fragile and precious life is.

      Reply
  17. Tiny

    I too am afraid that the list will never end. Humankind has not learned to live in peace, to find solutions without weapons. One war ends and another starts. So many lives lost. That is very sad.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Tiny, I try to be positive but that is my fear, too. Violence begets violence, and we seem unable to break the cycle. How do we switch off the war-gene? I bet there is one. 🙂

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes, unfortunately, something we would probably have to do battle over to achieve! Perhaps, switching off is not the right way to go. Switching off could be replaced by locating the peace gene and switching it up a notch or two. That sounds more positive, doesn’t it?

  18. Travelling Kiwi

    Thank you for another thoughtful and thought-provoking post.
    This is why I like to commemmorate the world wars. Not from a morbid kind of relish, but so that these young lives will be honoured and not forgotten.
    Your great uncle bears a strong family resemblance to your brother. How sad that you didn’t get the opportunity to know him in person.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I had to go take another five or six looks at the photo of my great-uncle; until reading your comment, I had seen a strong family resemblance but not to my brother. But you are right; it is there. We don’t have many photos of the great-uncles and great-aunts, but, of the photos we do have, it is in this service photo of Edward that I see that ‘look’, those ‘features’ which shout ‘family’ at me. The family features are so strong that when I look at the photo it does seem as though this could be my brother or my cousin off to war…perhaps that’s why the story of Edward’s war is still so powerful for me. Thank you for helping me to remember him.

      Reply
  19. thecontentedcrafter

    I do wonder when we will become mature enough to see through all the hype and decline to join the armed forces and decline to go to war ……… Still too many young people dying to enable greedy corporations making big bucks and greedy men to line their pockets!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Pauline, there is a lot of greed involved and a lot else besides. I am also one of those fuzzy thinkers who is anti-war but actually doesn’t mind having armed services; makes no sense, I know. But I am deeply grateful to the armed services when they help out in times of natural disaster, with search and rescue etc. We haven’t found a better alternative for this important work. However, I hope we never again see the terrible punishments we inflicted on conscientious objectors in WWI; on those who declined to go to war. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/3b48/briggs-mark

      Reply
  20. Ellen Grace Olinger

    Thank you for this tribute to your great-uncle, “one of the many” and each a special person with a story and loved ones. My father was born in 1915 and my mother in 1917. I heard stories of loved ones in the previous generation. Prayers for peace.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, Ellen, one of the many, but each a loved individual. I didn’t, of course, know my great-uncle. The generation who did know him, didn’t ever speak to me about him, possibly because they thought I was too young and would not be interested. His story comes to me very second-hand but, as you can see, it still has a powerful place in our family story. I will join you in prayers for peace.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Kerry. It is good to remember. What I loved about the poppy display at the Tower of London was seeing the young members of the Royal Family amongst the poppies. It is the young generations who are now charged with remembering our stories. I hope they will and I hope they can somehow stem the flow of names on to that list that so far has refused to die.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      That is the sadness of it all, isn’t it, Su? It’s not so much that we lost our great-uncle, but that these losses still continue. We have learned some lessons from those big wars but perhaps not quite enough.

      Reply
  21. gpcox

    What an outstanding tribute, Gallivanta!! You and your brother will always have this to bind you to a very brave man. He will be Remembered!

    Reply
  22. Katrina Lester

    It’s so incredibly sad to think of all those young men who lost their lives in WWI. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. My grandfather was wounded at Gallipoli. He survived and had a family of his own, but his life was essentially ruined and he died quite young, so none of his grandchildren ever knew him, nor he them.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, the wounds of war lasted a life time, and beyond. I noticed that staff and students combined at the University of Canterbury number about 16,000. The war killed (NZers) the equivalent of an entire university and then some. Our NZ wounded numbered about 41,000. That is the equivalent of wounding the entire population of Timaru District today. Madness. And those numbers relate to physical wounds, only. The impact on individuals and our society was profound.

      Reply
  23. Lavinia Ross

    Thank you for sharing the story of your great-uncle, and the video. About all our species can do is try to move forward. The history of war is a long one, whether it be between two people, or millions. Remembering, and acknowledging our errors, are the first steps toward Enlightenment and Peace.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am not sure. They are being sold for a worthy cause but none of the money raised appears to be going to Commonwealth charities, so that is a bit odd. However, I suppose there are Commonwealth members still serving in the British Armed Forces, so the donations may benefit Commonwealth people in a roundabout way. I may see if I can register my great-uncle for the Roll of Honour which is read every day. All submissions are closed now until Monday.

      Reply
  24. April

    It is remembrances such as this which keeps us grateful for the sacrifice they paid for what we enjoy today. I’m wondering why some countries don’t value human life.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am very grateful that, even though there is conflict in the world, my country has lived in peace for 70 years. I also think that every person should visit a war cemetery at least once in their life-time. It’s a sobering experience. And reading old casualty lists is another sobering experience. The reasons for human life being devalued are many but this one should give you a wry smile: “It’s only when you see a mosquito landing on your testicles that you realise that there is always a way to solve problems without using violence.”

      Reply
      1. April

        Hahaha!

        I have visited the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Very sobering, and it brought tears to my eyes.

        We also visited a US Confederate cemetery from the US Civil War. That one was very sad because most of the graves are unmarked. They are placed in sections of the states they hailed from. The cemetery was due to the volunteer efforts of a local lady who believed the fallen soldiers needed a respectful resting place. The ugly part of the cemetery was the segregated slave lot.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I love your local lady who cared! The US Civil War is not ancient history. There may be people today who remember talking to veterans about their experience in the Civil War. Apparently the last veteran of the Civil War died in 1956. Here is the memorial to the last veteran. http://www.nycivilwar.us/woolson2.html Interesting that both he and his father were in the Civil War. Perhaps not that uncommon in war situations.

        2. April

          Oh my gosh, this is the third time I have tried to respond, but my cat, or I keep deleting what I’ve written.

          There may be some around who have heard about the experience through relatives. My grandpa was born 37 years after the war was over. I have found military records of his uncles being enlisted, but if there were any shared stories, they weren’t passed on to my grandpa. He only talked about WWI, WWII, and the depression era of the 1930’s. He passed away in 1992 at the age of 90.

          I have read stories of multiple family members signing up to fight in the US Civil War. Some were fighting opposing sides. Many very young boys joined the fight as well.

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Interesting that the Civil War stories didn’t get passed on to your grandfather; perhaps they were too painful. As you say, the Civil War divided families and that would make for very bitter memories.

        4. April

          I’m not sure why they weren’t passed along. The only thing I can think of is that my dad’s side of the family was from the hills. I suppose you could call them hillbillies.

          My dad only told a few stories of his time in WWII. It wasn’t until he was in the latter stages of Dementia before he revealed the horror he went through. However, throughout his life there was never any doubt that he was extremely proud of our country–he passed that on to his children.

  25. Mrs. P

    Sadly eye opening. I hadn’t realized so many died in that war, and those figures did not include any Americans. I had a great uncle who died as well in the battle of Chateau Thierry. My grandfather was fortunate to have been called to duty at the end of the war and never actually saw battle. During WWII he spent his time securing and retrofitting ships for transport…again, avoiding combat. So many lives lost…war is a terrible thing to do to the living.

    Reply
      1. Mrs. P

        Charles died at the tail end of the war and so his body was recovered and his remains returned to his family. He is buried with his family in Pennsylvania. Though they could not afford a headstone, shortly before she passed his mother wrote a letter to her children (a will) requesting that a headstone be purchased for Charles. It was her only son and his death was quite unbearable for her. When I went to visit their hometown, I did see the headstone with honors marker and took a photo of it. If you look at this link http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/timeline_of_world_war_one.htm the battle of Marme started in July, Germany asked the Allies for an armistice on Oct 4th and Charles died on the 8th of Oct. 😦

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          How tragic. However, it is good to know that Charles did come home and that he did get a headstone, eventually. I can imagine his mother’s grief. Our veterans are eligible for assistance with headstones, and, in certain cases, they are free.

        2. Mrs. P

          I think the request was for a special headstone. I am sure they had at least a simple one, everyone else in the family did.

        3. Mrs. P

          Oh no…you didn’t tell me your cousin, Bert passed on. I’m so sorry to hear this…he lived a long life. I hope it was filled with much love and happiness. Hugs!

        4. Gallivanta Post author

          Thanks Mrs P. I believe that is how it was for him. He was my Dad’s first cousin. And he was the one who introduced my Dad to my Mother, so my siblings and I owe him a debt of gratitude for our being here at all. 😀

  26. JF

    We need peace, we need to stop madness everywhere in the world! It can be done by strong leaders acting together. Where are they?

    Reply
      1. JF

        I don’t think that it is a question of age. Our current election system is wrong. People who live at the expense of taxpayers should not be able to vote. No benefits should be given to illegal immigrants and no legal immigrants must become citizens (able to vote) until they worked at least 5 years in the country.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          JF, I don’t know much about the US election system, but, in general, elections systems in any country are hard to change. In New Zealand we have to be 18 to vote and have to be either a citizen or a NZ resident. It is compulsory to register to vote, but not compulsory to actually vote. On the whole, I think the election system is fine. The main problem is that people who could vote don’t bother. Why they don’t vote seems to be anyone’s guess. My own feeling is that people feel increasingly alienated from the politicians and what spouts out of their mouths.

        2. JF

          There is another BIG problem! Many voters (especially young people) are ignorant and brainwashed. They vote promises!

    1. Steve Schwartzman

      I started to write: “I think we all sympathize in wanting to stop madness everywhere in the world”, but that hasn’t proved true historically, and we need look no further than current events. A fierce group of Islamic fundamentalists has conquered a large swathe of what was formerly Syria and Iraq (coincidentally countries whose boundaries were arbitrarily set by Europeans after World War I). If news reports are to be believed, these fundamentalists have killed many civilians, often in horrible ways, and forced many more to flee. In absolute numbers, the fundamentalists probably number only in the thousands or at most a few tens of thousands. It would be relatively easy for countries like the UK, France, Germany, the US, Saudi Arabia, India, etc., to commit 10,000 soldiers each to form a powerful and well-equipped army that could go in and overwhelm (i.e. kill) the Islamic fundamentalists. It would be relatively easy, but I’ve yet to hear a single call for such an army. Polls in the United States show a majority not wanting to intervene. Without such direct intervention, the fundamentalists are likely to attract recruits and go right on killing and persecuting as they expand their territory.

      Judging from history, I have to conclude that there will always be groups that, whether for self-aggrandizement or based on ideology, want to attack other groups or even other segments of their own group. A few examples from the 20th century are the Khmer Rouge, the Nazis, the Soviet Communists and the Chinese Communists. Had foreign governments intervened early to thwart those movements, tens of millions of lives could have been saved.

      In summary: it seems sad but true that sometimes only force can stop evil.

      Reply
      1. Gallivanta Post author

        Indeed, there will always be groups who want to kill and rule. How we respond to those groups is always going to be a matter of debate. I scurried away to look up ‘overwhelming force’ doctrine, most recently developed in the form of ‘shock and awe’ (1996). There seem to be differing opinions (aren’t there always?) on whether ‘shock and awe’ was actually achieved, or achieved the desired outcome. As for polls in the US showing the majority not wanting to intervene in current conflicts, I am not surprised. I was in India at the start of the First Gulf War; my son was a wee one. (It was a scary time where just one’s whiteness put one at risk of virulent anti-American sentiments/actions.) He is 25 now and, for his entire life, the US seems to have been trying to resolve various conflicts with its armed forces.( Is my memory serving me correctly?) That’s an awfully long time to be part of war. People must be very weary.
        Another doctrine which has been tried in previous conflicts but with debatable success is this one, which I would call the doctrine of overwhelming peace http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/1600-armed-police-and-volunteers-attack-pacifist-settlement-at-parihaka I don’t want to appear flippant but, sometimes, I wonder if dropping thousands of video games and luxury goods would be as useful as dropping bombs. Young men often go a fighting because they are bored, and war looks like jolly good fun. Certainly many of our NZ young men who went off to fight in WW1 were in it for the adventure. They thought they would be home for Christmas, with tales to tell and money in their pockets.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Perhaps one might say that in the fight against evil, force is a necessary evil. And, since I find the use of force difficult to accept, I try, within my immediate sphere of influence, to create an environment where evil, hate etc have no room to grow. It’s the best I can do. Oh, and remember to vote. That helps. 🙂 However, if in my own life I had been brought face to face with the consequences of evil, I might look at things very differently.

      2. Steve Schwartzman

        I’d say that non-violent protest and peaceful non-cooperation stand a chance of working in countries with an Anglo or Scandinavian ethos, but I can’t imagine those approaches would be anything but suicide if tried against the Taliban or Al Qaeda or the Islamic Caliphate.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Indeed, I would not be the one to volunteer to test peaceful non-cooperation techniques against those groups. My reluctance, however, makes me realise how incredibly brave were the Maori at Parihaka. The leaders and people would have been well versed in the history of the NZ (previously Maori) Wars,1845 to 1872, and could not have been confident that they wouldn’t all be killed. Mind you, as the English figured out, there is more than one way to make a person die. A bullet on the battlefield is relatively kind compared to other ways you can make a person suffer unto death.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Brenda. Your question raises another question which we have not fully answered in our family. We are fairly sure that Edward was a painter, a commercial painter of buildings etc. However, there is also a small possibility that he did paint, in the artistic sense, as well. Whatever was the case, there is nothing left of Edward, except a photo and a pocket watch. We don’t even know what happened to his war medals.

      Reply
      1. Brenda Davis Harsham

        That is sad. My mother painted before she died, and I have her last painting and a few other mementos. Each one helps me understand a different part of her. As it’s all I have left, I treasure each one. At least you know a lot about him. I feel sure he appreciates you remembering him.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          How lovely that you have paintings to treasure. I am sure she would love the way you perpetuate her creativity through your own creative work. Then you have your living treasures, your children, who most likely carry some of that creativity too.

  27. Just Add Attitude

    I felt so sad as I read this. A young life lost, and as your post title says one of many. I cannot imagine the tidal waves of grief that spread near and far as families mourned for their loved one who died in the war.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      JAA I can’t imagine it either. And I can’t imagine how my great-grandmother was able to let two more sons go off to war the following year. Those two did come home, but one of them was badly wounded.

      Reply

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