Was a Captain in the British Army's Welsh Regiment.
On 04/04/2009, I visited his daughter, Confidential, who was then 98
years old. I asked her about her father.
She said that he taught himself to read and write, and was once awarded
'Freedom of the City of London', which also transfers to all his children. I
asked her how he got that, expecting her to
talk about the First World War. But she said, 'oh that was from the Boer
She says that the family lived in the East End of London, and were very gentle
people, and were very musical, but quite poor. He decided to stow away on a
ship to the Boer War, because he was too young to join properly, in the 1890s.
His mother found out that he was going to do it, and ran to the docks in her
Victorian gear and silly shoes, but arrived just as the ship was pulling out.
She (the mother) saw all the boys on the deck waving goodbye. She (the
daughter) said that it was a terrible time, and he was one of only eighteen
that came back. At one point, he was thrown in the back of a train with all
the dead bodies, and it was only when somebody noticed a leg twitching that he
was pulled out again.
When he joined up for the World War, he was made Captain straight away because
of his experience in the Boer War. The officers were given whiskey and gold
flake cigarettes in the officer's room to give them Dutch courage before they
had to lead/send the boys over the top. She said that, because of this, he
became addicted to whiskey and cigarettes after the war, and any spare money
that the family had was spent on them. Both his legs were terribly scarred all
over from mustard gas. He died of cancer because of the cigarettes at the age
of 62. She was adamant that it was the Government's fault for getting him
hooked on whiskey and cigarettes in the trenches.
My mother, Confidential told me that he was in terrible pain at the end of
his life, and the family doctor decided to give him an overdose of morphine.
My mother also gave me a book that was written by him, and published in 1927
under a pseudonym. It is fiction, containing some science fiction elements and
is called 'The Brain-Box, by One of the Unemployed'.