Although I have never been ignorant of such matters, it is not until one starts a (lifetime) project such as tracing one’s family history that the matter of the Great War, or any conflict for that matter, may get personal. I have come across ancestors who have participated, and some who died, in World War I.
On Saturday, 18th July 2009, Britain mourned the loss of a great man, a stalwart and one of a few remaining. Namely, Henry Allingham.
The sole survivor of the original RAF, and having recently earned the accolade of The World’s Oldest Man (aged 113), Henry was born in 1896 and survived the Great War.
Much information can be found about Henry elsewhere, and will not be repeated here. Suffice it to say, when asked a while ago how he would like to be remembered, he said, ‘I want to be forgotten… remember the others [who died]’.
This is surely what we are all achieving through our research and investigations into our family histories – remembering, recalling and reliving…
I don’t think I will forget, Henry… your passing was also my father’s birthday – a mere 80 years of age!
Henry Allingham (1896-2009)
aged 113 years