|Family photo taken to France|
A few years ago, the widow of my only first cousin on my dad's side, Philip Davis (1948-2007) sent me a packet of photos, some of which I'd never seen before.
Imagine my delight when I found one well-handled photo postcard which was fully inscribed, unlike the other copy of the same photo I already possessed.
I soon realised this photo must have been taken to the Northern Front by my grandfather Sydney George Tucker who had died of war injuries just three days after being demobbed in 1919.
In my granny Tucker's handwriting, the card is fully inscribed with important family anniversaries and I can see exactly how old each child was at the time. Previously I was simply guessing that it was taken in 1915 when he first enlisted after years in the volunteer forces.
However, it was taken on 22 April 1917, just before he was sent to France. He had undertaken significant training in the new craft of aircraft artillery, based in the south of England, as well as coastal guard duties. Being a family man, I guess he was reluctant to join up in 1914, especially since the war was likely to be over by Christmas. Or so they thought.
|Family birthdates, courting and marriage dates|
His sister Jessie was eight and sister Cecily was seven.
Edith Annie Tucker's wish was not granted. Yes, he came home after being hospitalised for 15 months to heal his physical injuries, but his psychological injuries were too much to bear.
On 31 March 1919, he was granted a temporary disability pension for 12 months. He was in the Southampton War Hospital at the time, having fallen off the Southampton Walls and injured himself.
Three days later, still in hospital, he committed suicide.