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|War Generations (standard:adventure, 14542 words)|
|Author: JamesMcFall||Added: Aug 13 2008||Views/Reads: 2782/1853||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A short story dedicated to the memory of Walter Pope who lived through two World Wars.|
WAR GENERATIONS by James McFall Dedicated to Walter Pope 4th January 1911 - 9th June 2006 Dearly Missed, Never Forgotten RIP CHAPTER ONE Walter Pope witnessed two World Wars. Wally, as he liked to be called, had his own business which was working in landscape that included gardening private houses, hotels and even a few golf courses. The Pope family lived in the south of England about a mile from the sea which they all had a great passion for. His wife Mary, from Ireland, who had left home at sixteen to work as a maid, began working in London in large houses owned by wealthy families. That was where Wally and Mary first met as Wally at that time was a chauffer near where Mary was working. They both shared many interests, the main one being travel. Wally had his own motorbike which they spent many a day on, seeing the country-side and bringing their own tent as they loved the outdoor life. Mary loved to cook and bake and it never took her long to get some sort of meal on the plate. Wally's job was to get a fire going on these outdoor adventures and to stop somewhere close to fresh water. Their longer adventures included a month in Ireland and two weeks in Northern Ireland. Life was difficult for the young couple at the time as it was for many other couples like them, money and work were hard to come by. On their second day in Northern Ireland they stopped to ask for some directions from two men who were building a stone entrance to a house. The first thing one of the workers said to Wally was 'not a bad day', which he was not familiar with though Mary had heard it said before. They all had a great talk, the men telling the couple that they had motorbikes as well and were very interested in the travels and adventures of Wally and Mary. All went very well for them in Northern Ireland and both were sad to leave, more so for Wally as they were headed for County Carlow in the south of Ireland to meet Mary's Parents, Wally's new Mother and Father-in-law. When they arrived in the south Mary grew very nervous, hoping that her Parents would like Wally. Mary was an only daughter and thankfully everything welt well, Mary's Parents being very glad to see them. When the couple returned to England, Wally continued working in the landscape business and Mary began work as a cook's assistant in a near by hotel. The couple were now making good money and had enough to put a deposit down on a cottage. Life was going very well now for the couple and they were able to buy the cottage. Wally now had a small crew of men working for him and they were enjoying life in their new cottage. Mary was now working as a full time cook at a local school. She wanted to start a family and the first child born to the couple was a girl whom they named Laura. Wally had bought a small boat which he named 'Laura' which they had many good times in, often anchoring about twenty five yards from the beach in summer and swimming ashore. Four years after the birth of Laura, Mary gave birth to a baby boy who they named Wallter after his Father. Wally and his son became very close and when the boy grew older he became very interested in motorbikes, like his Father. Mary continued to work part time at the school and the family enjoyed their summers on the beach but all was coming to an end as there was talk of war. The talk soon ended with World War One having begun and Wally was on his way to France. During this trip the thoughts of Wally and many men like him were of home and loved ones and he knew he had to be extra tough in order to make the journey back home. Life in the trenches was not as bad for Wally as it was for others as he was no stranger to digging from his landscape business back home but at home he never had to kill anyone in order to survive. He quickly moved up the ranks becoming a sergeant and wondering what his wife back home would think of this. Many of the men that Wally had started out with were injured and even killed. On one occasion four men became trapped in one of the tunnels and Wally and two other volunteers succeeded in rescuing them. One bomb caused Wally to be thrown into the air, landing on another tunnel, his arm badly broken and left ear hurt. He received three medals in total and was given some sick leave back home to England. When he arrived home Mary thought that the war was over but Wally told her that it was not. The children were at a make shift school and when Mary brought them back home they were so delighted to see their Father, young Wallter now being called Wall for short. The next day the family headed to the beach. Mary told Wally that Wall had met a new friend called Bobby from Sheffield whose family were now living in the same area as them and like Wally, Bobby's Father was also in the army. Wally just had two weeks shore leave and was not in the best of health. A close friend took care of the children one day while he and Mary went off on the motorbike for old times sake. Wally also spent time alone with his children and one day the three of them went to meet Wall's friend Click here to read the rest of this story (1037 more lines)
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