Monday, 20 July 2009

Random Summer Remembrance

As I often do, I had my lunch today in the graveyard of Soho’s parish church – St Anne's.

That’s not as eccentric as it sounds – the graveyard has long been a favourite lunchtime spot with locals and there are even picnic tables there. If it’s not much of a traditional graveyard – it’s not much of a traditional church either. Most of the old building burned down in 1940 during the Blitz and although the new building still operates as a church it is just as much a community centre.

I found my gaze wandering to the small war memorial and my eyes rested on a group of three identical surnames, presumably relatives. It’s not the first time by any means that I’ve seen this on a war memorial; but perhaps subliminally with the news of the death at the weekend of the death Henry Allingham - the oldest surviving Great War veteran – it seemed particularly poignant.

Back at work, using the Commonwealth War graves Commission website I was able to look up within minutes the three sons of Samuel Garraway, printer, and his wife Katherine:

Killed 03.08.1916 Private Wilfed Garraway of the Royal Fusiliers.
Killed 12.02.1917 Private Sydney Garraway of the Queens' West Surreys.
Killed 18.08.1917 Rifleman Gilbert Garraway of the Rifle Brigade.

A random discovery. Unimaginable. Commonplace.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have just come across your blog. The Garraway brothers you are talking about are my family. There were actually 4 brothers which were killed. Wilfred, Samuel, Gilbert and Frank (who was my Great Grandfather). My Grandfather also lost his mother, so was sadly put up for fostering.
Thanks Dawn