Friday, November 13, 2009

Armistice

My Great Uncle Johnny served with the Kyhber Rifles on the North Western frontier of what was then the British Raj.

He had great respect for the Pashtun tribesmen, and also a profound understanding that tribal societies are impossible to deal with. Your friend today is your enemy tomorrow, and the hand of generosity so willingly extended can be retracted and turned on you. Very like the the Scottish Highland Clans in fact. Integrity is all, and every slight will invite retribution.

Johnny served with the 36th Ulster Division at the Somme. He was was one of the lucky ones who had half his shoulder blown off, after which he returned to Britain and trained others to walk into machine guns.

Of course he didn't tell me this. He died two years after I was born, but there is a photograph of the mewling me with him, my Father, and my Grandfather.

God I'm old, but glad to have sat under sunshine and rain and grateful too for the sunlight on the garden.

4 comments:

Betty said...

The Pashtun tribesmen and Scottish Highland Clans also sound like my family. It could explain why I haven't spoken to most of my relatives for years.

crazyrivergirl said...

Poignant post, Garf.

MJ said...

Poignant, indeed.

I apologize for being distracted by the fact that Betty now has an avatar.

garfer said...

Betty

Bosnia sounds great. Three way fisticuffs, who can complain?

Nice Avatar. Is it a Yamaha organ?

crazyrivergirl

He used to get drunk a lot

MJ

Content yourself with Spinal Tap. They know where to sink their pink torpedoes, although not in your case obviously.