If Great Grandpa Could Talk To You Now

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!


  1. If you were hoping to boost the value of your Perio shares, sorry mate – While it works, this wimp will continue to use his Philishave, and just in case you’ve got shares in Philips, the brand that replaces it will depend upon what ?Which recommends at the time.

  2. It makes me feel quite old (though I’m only in my fifties) to think that a person old enough to shave today had a great grandfather fighting in the 1940s! It’s possible of course even to have had a great great grandfather fighting then: a teenager starting to shave now could have been born in 2000 to a mother born in 1980, whose mother was born in 1960 to a mother born in 1940, who was the young daughter of the man fighting in the 1940s.

    It just looks odd from my own perspective here in Britain. For me the Second World War was my father’s generation: he guarded prisoners of war in England. His father (my paternal grandfather) died at work by German bombing, and his mother died some years before I was born, so of course I never saw my paternal grandparents.

    The First World War were my grandfathers’ generation. My paternal grandfather was working for the Post Office in Dublin during the 1916 Easter uprising. My maternal grandfather volunteered in 1914 and fought in the trenches in France, and then flew in the Royal Flying Corps (later Royal Air Force): all his brothers died either at the sea battle of Jutland, or at Gallipoli, or shortly after from injuries sustained. So, my great grandfather lost five sons either in action or from injuries sustained during the 1914-18 war.

    A few years ago I researched where my great uncle was buried who fought at Gallipoli, as no-one in the family knew, and no-one had ever seen his grave, and no body was repatriated. He was evacuated injured at Gallipoli, died on board ship, and was then buried on a Greek island in a military cemetery. I managed to obtain a photograph of the grave through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and it brought tears to my eyes to see the inscription on it: “He lived for and loved his Saviour”.

    • My Czech father would have gladly fought for Britain in the Second World War if he could have obtained UK citizenship, but that had to wait until after the war. As it was, he had to remain here as a refugee.
      My Czech maternal grandfather was conscripted to fight for Austria in the First World War (Bohemia was then part of Austria) and was taken prisoner by the Russians. It took him several months to walk back home from Nizhny Novgorod and ten days after arrival he lost who would have been my only close aunt, to Swine Fever at age 8 (Mentally she was quite precocious. I think she was as ready for death as one could be under instruction given by Austrian Roman Catholics). The new Czechoslovakian government gave pensions to widows of soldiers who had fought for the Czechs against Austria, but none to those of soldiers who had died fighting for Austria. My (Czech) grandmother “was requested” to represent the plight of these widows to President Thomas Masaryk, which she proceeded to do by laying right into him in English, on the assumption that none of his entourage also spoke English. He replied “Madam, you are most unjust”, and, promising to see what he could do, ended the interview. Together with his associates, he then proceeded to raise as much money as he could and the Austrian side war widows received some sort of pension – not equal to the state pension, that would have been impossible, but something.
      The Mazaryks were Slovaks, and when Czechoslovakia split, my father regretted it for that reason.

    • Kevin,

      As it happens, my great-grandfather fought at Gallipoli with the Connaught Rangers (despite coming from a loyalist part of north Belfast). He also walked up O’Connell Street (then Sackville Street) during the Easter Rising when he was on leave, but managed to avoid getting killed. If he had been killed then or in the Great War, my grandfather would never have been born and I would not be here today. Thanks be to God for his providential mercies.

  3. This video does not ring true for me. It was my mother (1st Lt., US Army Nursing Corps) who was the combat veteran in France during WWII, not my great grandfather.

  4. Yes, Dad’s generation went to war.

    1. Dad steamed with His Majesty’s Royal Canadian Navy, 42′-46′, between Liverpool, NYC and Halifax aboard two different frigates providing defenses against German U-boats and running escort duties for supply convoys. He said, “I went to war as a boy and came back a man,”

    Or, old John Stropes at our parish who serves frequently as an usher, about Dad’s age. COL John Stropes, USMC (ret.), then a lad, went ashore in the first wave at Iwo Jima, c. 19 Feb 1945. He was machine-gunner. The Japs especially went after machine-gunners. John lasted 10 before before taking a hit earning the pulpit heart. He doesn’t talk much about it, but he had the PTSD-stuff that combat vets understand. If one survived Iwo in any form, he was a hero. Old John gets favorable mention annually on 1 March at St. Peter’s Episcopal, Swansboro, NC. And, he’s a good usher of the old school.

    3. Won’t say much more than my Canadian Grandparents lamenting the US’s late entry while they, Canadians, were serving upside and alongside the Brits, but enough.

    A great generation that took down Imperialism in Europe.

Comments are closed.