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Home at last – and glad to be back.  Just three days of bishops’ meeting to survive next week and then I might get the grass cut.  We did a flying visit to Donegal to sort out the aftermath of the great explosion – a visit enlivened by a young dog which nipped into the porch and removed one of Alison’s shoes while she was reviving her pot plants.  When she retrieved the [by now] mangled remains from the neighbour’s patio, she got the Peter Sellers ‘not my dog’ response.  Welcome to the new Ireland.

I’ve been reading Ben Elton’s ‘The First Casualty’ – about a man who declines to fight in the First World War because it is illogical.  Everybody else knows that it is illogical and hopeless but they can’t break loose from it.  Now when did I ever hear about anything like that before?


  1. Thanks Ted

    I enjoyed the opportunity and the chance of spreading my network of contacts …

    I did some similar research on my great uncles – we found one who died in the last ten days of the war. He was a medical orderly with the Canadian forces – maybe lifting bodies off the barbed wire in no-man’s land. I’m enjoying Ben Elton – but Sebastian Faulks’ ‘Birdsong’ is the one I would take to a desert island.

  2. Dear David,

    I have just returned home from the YMCA ABM in Perth, and wanted to say thank you once again for your excellent contribution to a special day for us!

    I am enjoying your website very much and hope others will find their way to it. There is much here to make one think and reassess. Please keep it up.

    Found your comments about Elton’s book very interesting. I have just written a small book (64 pages)summarising some searching I have done on my grandfather’s time in the Tyneside Scottish leading up to the first day of the Somme when he was killed. It is for the family – we did not know anything about his time as a volunteer soldier in World War One, but now know (within twenty yards) where he was standing at 7.30am on 1 July 1916!

    Would you like a copy? (free of course).

    Warmest regards and good wishes


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