Monday, 10 April 2017

Every Man Remembered

A little plug here for this website: http://www.everymanremembered.org

From the website's home page:

"Over 1.1 million Service men and women lost their lives during the First World War. We invite you to create a dedication to one of them, and to place a poppy on our map in their memory".

There's a really interesting interactive map, which enabled me to locate Robert Gooding Henson there along with the many also buried at Hervin Farm cemetery.

9th April was the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Arras, bringing with it some strange family synchronicities which I will detail in a later blog post and also in the book. The book now has something of a structure. I have taken what I know of Robert's life (very little except where he lived and when and some sketchy family history)  and the movements of the Somerset Light Infantry, and woven it into a fictional narrative. Robert Gooding Henson is a character in the story. 20,000 words in and I'm close to the end of 1916. I don't know for certain whether Robert saw action in 1916, but the dates of everything else make it plausible, so my story has him at thr front during the winter of 1916. The book's second section will then move us to 1917 and the Battle of Arras. I have this roughed out but will be seeking out more detail to help with this when I visit Arras shortly. Subsequent sections of the book will bring the present into play, where I will be using a section about my father and then about my trip to Arras. After 1917, it's fairly fluid at the moment.

In 12 days, it will be a hundred years since Robert Gooding Henson died, just one of a great many remembered this month at Arras. A great many Scottish fell at Arras, as commemorated here, and Canadians too, at Vimy Ridge, as seen here. 

Another interesting article here: http://51hd.co.uk/history/battle_of_arras


and here: https://somersetremembers.wordpress.com/category/somerset-light-infantry/page/3/

Image result for football somerset light infantryIn November 1916, a "light company" sporting competition was organised whilst they were in a rest and train period away from the Front Line. Was RGH ever in a football team such as this?

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