Posterity – or, does my ego look big in this?

I’m so sorry.  I’m not sure what happened to yesterday, I wondered why I hadn’t received any notification of comments.  So, this is yesterday’s post, okay?

The day started absurdly early because I had said I’d be at the school assembly at 9 o’clock.  I know, darlings, I washed my hair and ironed two whole garments, specially.  Then I had a meeting with the Head, because there’s a whole lot of stuff to sort out this term, and then the conversation got around to the First World War, as it does.

It was perfectly sensible, a staff member’s father had recently died and the Head referred to that, as she is very upset, and I said that I’d known him (the father), he lived in our village and, when he moved here, I’d asked him to read out the Roll of Honour at the Remembrance Day service, he being one of our few remaining residents who served in WWII.  He had become a friend; I was already friends with his daughter.

I mentioned, as I have here because it always shocks me, that 25 of our village’s young men (which had to be almost all of them) had died in that war, and that led the conversation on to those boys of the Grammar School, the precursor to the present High School, who had been in the armed forces at that time.  One of the schoolmasters had lost his life in the Great War, and something had moved him (the Head), being a historian and very interested in the subject and the school, to look up the school magazine from that period.  He brought out a book, which comprised the magazines from 1914-1924, and said he had ended up reading it from cover to cover, it was so interesting.  He said that the Sage’s family name had recurred time after time.

The Sage’s father had three brothers and all four of them had attended Yagnub Grammar School, Pa having been nearly 16 when the war started.  He and his younger brother were mentioned many times in the magazine, for academic and sporting achievements,  then he was mentioned as having graduated from Cambridge and becoming a member of the Law Society, as was his eldest brother.  The Head has lent me the book to show the Sage, and I think that all our children will be interested.

Genealogy is so popular nowadays and I don’t really get it – I honestly don’t care what my forebears were doing a couple of hundred years ago, unless there’s something that lets me see them as people.  For example, my three-greats-grandfather was big on public service 160 years ago, as am I, I suppose – don’t know if that’s nature or nurture, but it is some sort of connection (and also, coincidentally, with the Sage’s family) and I know a little of him as a person because of some letters we have, but I have no great urge to research the family.  I’m not that into it.  But this is different, because we did know him, my elder children remember Grandpa lovingly and we will all be really interested to read about his schooldays.

I’ve always been a TW3 sort of girl – it’s over, let it go.  But blogging has made me see the interest in keeping a record, not just for me now, but for the future.  I pity any poor person who reads all my waffle once I’m dead or gaga (not planning either right now, but at least the former is bound to happen, I’m ageing jolly fast, I can tell you) as there’s so damn much of it – but, having read it, that person will really know me pretty well.

11 comments on “Posterity – or, does my ego look big in this?

  1. Tim

    I spent an afternoon a few months ago, wandering around Yattendon churchyard with a friend, reading the names on the gravestones. It’s almost incomprehensible how whole families were wiped out – and the resilience of those who survived and rebuilt their lives.

    Oooer, getting a bit sombre here. TW3, Millicent Martin, yay!

  2. PixieMum

    My cousin, Royston Bailey, born in 1920, went to B****y Grammar School, assume he went there in early 1930s. His father had died in 1925, he lived in Fressingfield so was there a boarding element at the time?

    Have enjoyed doing family history, has been useful from a medical viewpoint, lots of lung problems with my mother’s maternal side for example which may help to explain my health problems. Also, through family history have met a second cousin, we have become friends, our husbands get on well together too and we meet up regularly.

    Having said that, I think It is becoming more difficult to find much more information about some of my forebears, certainly I do not wish to be obsessive. There are plenty of other things to be done such as finishing book for Monday’s reading group.

  3. Z

    I remember, being rather young at the time, being sent to bed before it started and vastly resenting hearing my parents and five-years-older sister laughing downstairs. I was allowed to stay up after a few weeks, so either I begged pitifully or they thought that an early awareness of political satire would do me good.

    Yes, there was a boarding house until the 1970s, called Dunelm House. The house was separate from the school – I think that it housed boys who went to the Secondary Modern (presently the Middle School) too.

    That’s the sort of personal detail that I would find interesting. A straightforward family tree doesn’t engage me much, it’s the people themselves that would.

  4. georgie

    Our family tree is not that fascinating, though I do like those shows where people track down their famiy history. I have been to York/Jorvik a few times and must admit wondering if any of my Viking ancestors raided er visite

  5. Christopher

    A lady called at the Post Office in the village near which we lived in Scotland asking for directions to the graveyard, because her forebears were buried there. The Postmistress gave her the directions, but warned her against disappointment: to her certain knowledge no bears were buried there.

  6. Macy

    Loads of stories from my family’s backhistory – trouble is no one can actually agree on them.
    And the folks who would actually know are long gone.

  7. Z

    I’m sure you have an impeccable pedigree, Georgie!

    Chris, I am confident that is a true story, because I really want it to be.

    Thanks, BW

    No one alive to answer my questions either, Macy, though my sister is able to fill in a few gaps.

  8. Eddie 2-Sox

    Family history does interest me, especially with such an unusual surname.

    Sam finds it fascinating that his ancestors were Vikings, but it baffles the hell out of me why they decided to stay in Barnsley and not go home to Stockholm or Oslo.

    Them crazy pillagers!

    Sam is also proud that one of his ancestors played football for England, at the turn of the 19th century, Known as Harry, not surprising as his real name was Herod.

  9. 63mago

    The best part of doing such research is when in the church books additional notes and comments turn up. Or when the family I am working for asks me to translate or transscribe letters. Strangely enough I never did research my own family.


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