My maternal Grandmother’s Brother ( my Great Uncle ) joined up for WW1 as a Private in the Infantry. He spent four years in New Zealand ( presumably training ) where he joined the Canterbury Regiment, returning to England in August stationed at Salisbury for a few weeks. He then proceeded to France where he met instantaneous death on September 29th. His Officer wrote to my Aunt saying “He met his death very suddenly while they were in the reserve lines by a shell exploding right beside him!”.He was buried on the outskirts of Ypres overlooking the battlefield in 1917, he was 34 years old. I wonder how may made the month long trip to train in New Zealand as he did? In the end, such a waste of so many young lives. I would have liked to have known him.
My paternal Grandfather also joined in the WW1 effort and went over in The Somme area as with the Royal Engineers as a Sapper ( I think this involved much digging etc ) From the postcards he sent home he travelled around to several places in France and saw devastation in the cities and all around. He got married here in 1915 and I think he was involved in France until c1918. When my Father was to join for WW2 he asked him for his advice, which was, ‘Don’t join the Army son’. He reckoned too much hard work and marching about for miles had ruined his feet and legs which he suffered badly with until the end. However this didn’t stop him from doing his gardening on his hands and knees. His work back home involved manual labour too. I remember he fell off long ladders several times, but always recovered. He definitely had his nine lives!