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16 December 2007 @ 10:44 am
Nobody's grand-dad at all  
Yesterday desperance wrote of a family bible found in the loft of his house. The bible contained a letter, dated 1911, about a young man called Harry Hoad who had just left school and was being recommended for employment by his headmaster.

A bit of research turned up young Harry's fate, which--as he was born in Britain in 1897--is precisely what you might fear it to be: he died in the trenches on June 7, 1917. papersky wrote a poem, which carandol has put to music, to, I think, great effect.

There's a slim chance the song is wrong, for a Harry E Hoad was married in early 1916, and he might have managed to have been a grand-dad after all, but damn if the whole thing hasn't affected a bunch of us. History is closer than we think.
Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Current Music: nobody's grand-dad at all
debela on December 16th, 2007 03:39 pm (UTC)
God, that's heartbreaking. Poor kid. And if that's all the parents had of him...

I am curious about the regimental pins, if those aren't his regiments.

The poem is lovely, and I mean it no disrespect when I say I hop Harry managed to settle down in 1916 and have a job and grandchildren underfoot.

kitmizkit on December 16th, 2007 04:36 pm (UTC)
Well, I think it's pretty likely it's that Harry who died in the trenches, but if he was lucky he might've had a child before he went off to die. I very much doubt he ever saw any grandchildren, and maybe not even any children. Snif.
Kencarandol on December 16th, 2007 11:05 pm (UTC)
Course if he did marry, children or not, there's the entirely untold story of his widow, waiting for his return. They can't have been married more than a year and a half, and I can't help thinking they quite probably married because he was leaving for the war. I wonder if Mrs Hoag could be traced?