Shrapnel was Dad’s souvenir
My father signed up to the Royal Horse Artillery in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, in July 1911 at the age of 16. As a country lad, he had experience working with horses. He was 20 when war broke out and he served as a Corporal Gunner with the 2nd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery.
They were ordered to France on August 1, 1914, with their 456 horses.
The unit was withdrawn after the Battle of Mons on the French border, due to the great loss of men, horses and ammunition, but during the retreat, a piece of shrapnel entered my father’s skull behind his left ear.
It was too much of a risk to remove it. He was deemed fit to return to France in May 1915, and his last action was on November 11, 1918, in Artois, northern France.
He was married to my mum Winifred and they had three children.
Doctors later told him they could remove the shrapnel, but he refused. He said: “No, that’s my souvenir from the war. I’ll carry it with me until I die.”
And he did. He died on August 2, 1962, at the age of 69.