Alfred John (MM222)
I'm not particularly patriotic but I do count myself lucky to live in a country where we enjoy a wide variety of freedoms others can only dream of. Many of these were hard won by people who put themselves at great risk and in many cases suffered the consequences.
My blip is the character reference one of my grandfathers received on leaving the Royal Engineers in 1917. Having survived the fighting at Ypres, he was wounded in an accident involving an artillery shell. His right hand was quite badly damaged and may well have been amputated, but he asked the doctor to do what he could to leave him able to use a saw, which as a carpenter, he needed to earn his living. The hand was put back together as best they could and although his thumb joint was almost immobile he did return to work. He died in the late 60s from a mixture of the effects of gas and cigarettes. A scan of the middle page is in the extra.
My other grandfather, Albert, also served at Ypres, in the Royal artillery. Neither of them talked much about their experiences until they met before my parents wedding. My father mentioned that they had been at the same battles and it was only then that really said anything about it.
Thanks to everyone for recent comments, I'm caught up with work and errands over the next couple of days so I'll catch up later in the week :-)