Walter's war

Walter's war

Each November, a smaller and smaller number of men and women who fought in the Second World War are there at the Cenotaph, marching in remembrance of their fallen comrades. There is no one left at all from those who fought in World War One. Their voices have fallen silent. But – every now and again – something turns up that brings them back to life.

Walter E. Young fought in World War One. He went out to France, he endured the squalor of the trenches, the mud, the lice, the periods of yammering boredom that alternated with the fear, the noise and the carnage. He was there at Ypres, and was captured by the Germans in March 1918. Finally released from a prisoner of war camp sometime after the war finished, he came home, got on with his life and never mentioned his experiences. He got married, had children, then grandchildren, then died, still keeping his experiences to himself.

It was only when his son, David, was clearing out the family house in Cressida Road, Upper Holloway, that...

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