Michael’s father was a 15-year-old schoolboy when the conflict broke out. Determined to take part in the war, he decided to lie about his age and sign up for the army. “He was quite proud of himself,” Michael laughs. “Luckily they caught him and send him back home, otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” he goes on pensively smiling.
In the beginning of the Great War, when Michael’s father enlisted himself, the British Army, different from the French and German Armies, was made up of volunteers. However, by summer 1915 every man aged 18 to 41 was recorded under the National Registration Act.
Michael’s father, who served with the London Scottish regiment, a volunteer infantry regiment of the British Army, was sent off to fight in Flanders Fields.
“He never talked to me about it and we only found out after his death,” Michael remembers solemnly. “It was only then that we discovered his medals and photos in the attic. I still have a photo of him in his uniform. Unfortunately, he never mentioned anything to us so I don’t know anything about his time here but I am trying to trace his story.” He falls silent for moment, squinting against the warm autumn sun and reminiscing the past.
“Being here makes me feel closer to him,” a sad smile returns to his face. “It brings a lump to my throat to walk through the cemeteries”.
Plan your trip to Flanders Fields