SATUR­DAY ES­SAY

Yorkshire Post - - FEATURES & COMMENT -

is on no me­mo­rial other than his grave­stone.

There are no pic­tures of him, be­cause to a fam­ily in poverty, a cam­era and film were out of the ques­tion, and there would have been noth­ing to smile for in a snap­shot any­way. The box of tools is all that’s left, an odd and poignant re­minder of a life that in the in­stant he was rid­dled with bul­lets be­came un­bear­ably hard.

Thou­sands of other fam­i­lies will have their own me­men­toes that speak to them as per­son­ally as my grand­fa­ther’s few poor be­long­ings do to me. Maybe medals, maybe let­ters, maybe a pho­to­graph in uni­form, each pre­cious be­yond mon­e­tary worth and freighted with emo­tional sig­nif­i­cance, to be passed down the gen­er­a­tions along with the story it tells.

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