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WW1 and my tiny part in history

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posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 09:10 AM
hi readers

id like to share a tiny part of my life
and how i changed a tiny part of history

ever since i was 12 i loved history and especially ww1 or known at the time as the great war.

when i was nearly 13 i went from a childrens home to a rather strict foster parents
this was in 1989. The foster dad (john) was in his late 60s born in 1921 and foster mum (dorothy) was in her late 50s.
I soon settled inish and learnt that john was a rear gunner in a halifax bomber during ww2
and dorothy was a nurse in the 50s.
Luckily this was in a small village and my school was 5mins walk away and still is a well known school for its sports.
It also had ww1 as the main study for history at the time, and every year we would dress in ww1 clothes
and act out the signing up for the army (what did you do in the great war daddy) and then go to a local field
where fireworks/mini explosives were planted in the ground and about 100 of us would reinact the big push.
At school 1 of my options was history and to my delight and excitement spent the next 3 yrs on school trips to belgium.
I have been along the western front from arras to verdun, visiting towns,museums,graves and trenches.
here is a source with animation showing you how the battle proceeded

i could write a lot more but il tell you 1 tiny story of my visit to a trench in arras.
i cant recall the small village name but about 3 miles from it the bus stopped and the teacher said
heres a field that the farmer has recently ploughed you might find some things on the surface.
me beaing me was straight there lol, and within 10 mins i was the envy of some of the other kids
because i found a hand full of lead balls from a shell, and something else that i wasnt sure of so i showed my teacher
he looked at it and told me it was a mouth piece from a hand carved ivory smokers pipe.
oh yeh there was a pillbox there also (gunners post)
so after beaing there about half hour we got back on the bus and drove for another hour.
wen the bus stopped the teacher took us to a cemetary with around 5000 british and polish graves all white crosses
it was quite an experience but not like the thousand german graves with black crosses i seen in the middle of nowhere sorrounded by trees no sunlight very eery
but thats another story.

behind this cemetary was a few trenches that had been kept clean(the belgium people are beautifull and tend to the graves allies or enemy)
and walking along 1 trench i came across a mound which to me looked like a a sniper/shooter post,
so beaing me at about 14 yrs old, i imagined that i had a lee enfield .303 rifle fired it then drew back the bolt and imagined where the spent round would go.
i stuck my finger into the side of the trench and lo behold i pulled out a 303 round.
when i showed it to the teacher he asked me to show him where i found it.
after showing him he became a bit excited and he explained to me that, that area was a german occupied trench
and me finding the 303 round showed that the british had managed to advance further than imagined.
he said he had to notify some historic record board and have it recorded.

so folks thats my tiny little part of a change in history
i may post more threads on this subject
thanks for reading

posted on Aug, 6 2011 @ 10:12 AM
reply to post by davesmart

That’s a great story!

Back in 1996, when I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC, I had the honor (or luck if you will) of being selected for Range Control duties for six months. My job was to make sure all units cleaned their training areas prior to departing for garrison.

One of the requirements was making sure controlled fires didn’t get out of hand and that I put 1000 miles on the truck they issued me every week. I thought it would be impossible to drive 1000 miles on a military base once a week but was soon proved wrong…it’s pretty easy. It was the best job I have ever been volunteered for during my career. Though I did have to work seven days a week, but I was always off by 1700.

They also gave me a more detailed map than the Army issues (Thru NSGS). It had all sorts of historical sites on it that I was to check on from time to time. Cemeteries and battlefields were all marked, from the Revolutionary war to the Civil War.

Some of these cemeteries had only two unknown Soldiers buried there, sometimes one from each side. I would jump the fence as there was no gate and weed-wack and clean up the weeds. These burial grounds were often far off the beaten path and I would have to hump a bit through the woods to get to them.

At all of these sites though, it was illegal to use a metal detector or to pick up anything of historical value which I thought was a pity. Of course there is unexploded ordinance there as well, so it is probably a safety measure more than anything else.

I also got to jump into Normandy back in the eighties with the 82nd ABN. That was a great experiance.

I love history and wish others would take it to heart as well...maybe we wouldn't keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Oh well, that's human nature, I guess.

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