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2017-03-10

Almost 100 years ago, a little tribute.

I'm a fortnight early but in case any of my family see this it may jog a memory.
On the 24th March 1917 my Grandmother's brother Sgt. John (Jack) McGregor 4881 was killed in action by a sniper's bullet to the head.
War service has largely been missed by my family, one grandfather was too young for WW1 yet a family man and too old for WW2, the other grandfather was asked by his family to just stay and do one more harvest after he was old enough to join WW1, but the war was over by then, he too was a family man and too old for WW2. My father was too young for WW2 and Korea never crossed his mind at the time, perhaps a good thing given how Korean veterans were shunned upon their return.
Myself I was too young for Vietnam, given Australia withdrew from action by the end of 1972.
So really of my blood kin I'm limited to Jack, my maternal Great Uncle who was killed in WW1, and John Smyth VX48125 who was a Rat of Tobruk and survived WW2.

This is the war service record photo of John Smyth, I'd say because he had about the same lack of tallness that I have that his remaining a private throughout his many years of war service is quite believable.

Now I'll add copies of what I have from the Red Cross file into Jack's death.

Jack didn't receive any medal and he mother certainly couldn't have as she had died shortly after my Grandmother was born, something her father always held a grudge against her for.
This is from Jack's commanding officer Captain Trainor, a write up to be proud of, of course Jack had already achieved the highest rank possible for someone from a non-privileged family so gaining a medal was just that step too far.
  
Sgt. Hills testimony here to me is a good straight facts one that I favour is correct about the place where Jack was killed.
I've marked in pink where I suspect Jack was shot. On the edge of Doignies chasing Germans back to the Hindenburg line.
And to end my little tribute a photo of my Grandmother with her older Brother Jack.

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