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April 24, 2009

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Joy Holland

Both of my grandfathers survived this war--one serving in a Nottinghmshire Regiment, the other in the merchant marine stationed in Gibraltar, where my father was born. My Notts. grandad had the worst of it by far. The story I heard as a ten year old was that he came home covered in lice and had to take off his uniform in the outside toilet. After the war he always slept with his hands clasped behind his head, the only only pillow he had known in the trenches. My ex's grandfather served in the Austrian army. I imagine them shooting at each other across the killing fields--and missing.

Jeff

It's possible you'd still be with us, Joy, even if one grandpa had killed the other, because, well, um, it's kinda like the reason one is Jewish only if one's mother is Jewish. I mean, it *was* wartime.

John Ptak

Excellent insights, Joy. I found the head-on-hands story a secret and appreciation. My mother's father fought for the AEF; his brother fought with the Italian army. I suspect that brother v brother stories like these are the long stuff of war.

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