I come from a warring family. My son in Afghanistan, my father in the Far East in 1940, and my grandfather in the trenches. My father never spoke of the war; silence reigned. My grandfather never referred to the ‘Great War’; there was always another adjective in between, expletives I didn’t understand as a child. The old man was considered odd, shell-shocked, but I loved sitting on his knee, sniffing and staring as he managed to chew mints and puff a pipe in the same breath.
I wear a Poppy in his honour because it is easier than remembering my son.