At the Scotland v France rugby international, my youngest (Lachlan) along with a French counterpart will be carrying the new trophy onto the park before the game.
Lachlan is the youngest descendant of Eric Milroy, the Scotland captain killed at the Somme in 1916.
Eric Milroy was born in Edinburgh in 1887 where he attended George Watsons College and played scrum half for Watsonians. A first class honours graduate of Mathematics from Edinburgh University he played for Scotland from 1910 – 1914.
It was also in 1914 that he enlisted to be eventually ‘presumed dead’ in 1916 on the fields of the Somme.
My mother went out to France last year for the unveiling of a memorial to my great great uncle.
You can find out more at Militarian, Military History Forum: Eric Milroy Rugby Player
First of all – happy Birthday Lachlan!
And, looking at that photo –
I am the family face;
Flesh perishes, I live on,
Projecting trait and trace
Through time to times anon,
And leaping from place to place
The years-heired feature that can
In curve and voice and eye
Despise the human span
Of durance – that is I;
The eternal thing in man,
That heeds no call to die.
And, before he died, aged 97, year before last, Mike’s father used to go round schools telling about his time in the army in the Second World War. The children were fascinated, and, as you say, Alec, it made it much more ‘real’ and brought it home to them, that this old man, with his handle-bar moustache, had actually been there, had drawings of and notes about the places he’d been. He’d noticed a nightingale, singing it’s heart out, when marching through a wood in war-torn Italy.
It’s right there.
And, family – that’s right there, too.
That’s a wonderful poem, Bernie. I shall use that somewhere down the line. Thank you.
Sorry, sorry, sorry – it was Magnus’ birthday! Sorry Magnus – HAPPY BIRTHDAY!