Salford Pals

 

I have spent a considerable amount of time this weekend rebuilding the lives of my paternal Great-grandfather John Henry Mcclenan( McLanaghan) and my Great grandmother- his wife Frances Taylor/Skinner. It is a fascinating story of friendship, war, battles and lives lost, and love rising like a phoenix from the ashes to build what was to become a large and strong family. John Henry and his best friend George Skinner were to fight in the Boer War, George was killed and John Henry injured in the hip and returned to Salford to convalesce. On recovering he went to see George’s wife of 4 months Frances Skinner and over time they fell in love and were married on 14 December 1901.

Frances was 27 by this time but they went on to have 8 children, one of whom was my Grandfather Frank born in 1911(the one on the horse), and although getting on in years John Henry served with the Salford Pals 15th regiment from 1914-18, surviving a number of key battles including the Somme in 1916 and the siege of Thiepval July 1st 1916 and was awarded a number of medals. Frances and John’s fourth child was a daughter Hilda and her Great Grandson Christopher Finney went on to earn the George Cross for bravery in the Iraq war 2003. I think great things came from the broken fragments of John Henry’s Boer war broken-ness. He passed away in 1926 from amongst other things TB in the injured hip. I might not have fully complied with nature- but maybe war counts as the impact of human nature…

Bleak Boer War battle

John Henry lost George Skinner

Frail Fall brought Frances.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

 

For d”verse our challenge is to write about finding beauty in the broken pieces or imperfection and/or the process of mending the broken pieces.- kintsugi. A “broken” object, cityscape or landscape, or personal experience of mending and embracing imperfections. Kintsugi means “golden rejoining,” and refers to the Zen philosophy of acknowleding flaws, embracing change, and restoring an object with a newfound beauty.

For Ellen

michaela-sagatova-new-beginning-at-the-ends-of-the-earth

Pre-empted vision

And what stands between us

Is only time and space.

Meaningless when you consider the vacuum

That we have already crossed.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

We were asked to use visual prompts to be inspired- the idea of new beginnings, this particular image spoke volumes to me- as we are just about to embark on a new journey and leave behind our precious daughter Ellen. We will be worlds apart but I believe that love, all love-especially a mother’s love can span the abyss of any darkness, cross any void and penetrates the cavern of eternity. ( The same Ellen as in Ellen has a fever., but she was only 18 months old then and now she is 17…)

 

Image-New beginnings at the ends of the earth- by- Michaela Sagatova, see web link below:

Visual prompt

This is for “beginnings” at d’Verse Poetics, hosted by Mish

Beginnings d’Verse

 

Ellen has a fever

 

It was the coldest night of winter,

snow on the footpaths and icicles

hanging from the window ledges.

Every window open to biting frost as Ellen had a fever

Cradled in the crook of my arm her chubby hot hand curled around my fingers.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

For Quadrille#23 Curl at d’Verse.

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