Thursday, 20 November 2014
In A Foreign Field
Great Aunt Ivy isn't in the photo above, as she wasn't yet born, but my grandmother, Edna, Ivy's sister is sitting on their mother's knee. Gertie is sitting on the left with their brother, Frank behind and Ada in the middle. Their father, William Francis Page stands behind his family, dressed in his First World War uniform. He volunteered in 1916 at the age of 31. He was a slaughterman by profession. He was at The Battle of The Somme, was gassed and invalided out of the army. Apparently, he suffered poor health from his damaged lungs for the rest of his life and never really worked again.
At Great Aunt Ivy's funeral in West Bromwich, I met several family members I hadn't met before, including Ivy's son, Brian who is also tracing our family tree. A few days later Brian emailed me a copy of Great Grandad Page's sign up papers for World War One. I was able to print off a copy as well as a copy of the photo above and Megan took them to school to show her History teacher, as they're currently studying World War One. They are now part of the classroom display and Megan got a Merit!
Talking of World War 1, did anyone see the wonderful programme about the poets of the Somme last week? Our English teacher made us study them for 'O' Level and I was so glad he did. The programme has made me want to revisit the poetry of Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen and Robert Graves, as well as acquainting myself with other poets of the time like David Jones and W N Hodgson.
In other news... I entered the first 3000 words of my novel and synopsis in the ITV This Morning Novel Competition last week. There will be thousands of entries so I'm not holding my breath. I also sent the first fifty pages and synopsis to another agent. I entered three stories in the HE Bates Competition, one in Write Invite's 1000 word competition and one in the monthly Greenacre Writers Competition. I entered a flash story in the Writers' Bureau Competition, too. Now I have to work on some new stuff for the competitions closing at the end of this month. I submitted a new story to one of the womags last week as well, but was told they have a backlog, so I'll have to be patient.
Finally, a writer friend and I thought it would be an excellent idea if short story competition organisers mentioned how many entries they received when they publish the shortlist. It's one thing being one of ten shortlisted out of 300 or 3000 entries, but quite a different thing when they were only twenty entries in total. What do you think?
Posted by Jo at 09:07