Sharing is caring…

Talking to my sister the other day she mentioned how touched she was by some of the recollections of our late sister that friends had shared with her.
It reminded me of how I felt when someone ( a stranger) had shared some information with me – information that helped to unravel a ‘mystery’ concerning one of my grandfathers.

The man seated is my maternal grandfather – Isaac John Joseph Thompson, my mother’s father.  A few years ago I posted this photograph (and his name) on a military forum in the hope of getting it dated – to my surprise I learned a whole lot more than the date.

Yes, we knew he served in the RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corp) and we knew he was a regular and had ‘fought’ in both WW! and WW2 – Mum had told us he was a hero, ‘mentioned in dispatches’ but that was it.

Well, from that photograph, I was given the approx year it was taken and his rank.  Also from looking at the medal ribbons on Grandad’s uniform this person was able to determine his ‘mention’ and  (through contacts he had) then went on to supply me with information on which conflict he was in at the time.

This is when my jaw dropped – after giving me the date of the award, the forum member told me “he earned his mention for gallantry in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF)”  When I looked it up I discovered the MEF is another term for The Gallipoli Camapign!

Even though I was not born here in Australia (am a long time naturalised Australian) it brought a smile to my face when I realised he took part in and performed an act of bravery in a campaign that is dear to the heart of most Australians.

Anzac Day – National day of remembrance and first landing of the Anzacs at Gallipoli – is this coming Sunday 25 April.

Are there any unknowns in your family’s past
that have become known through research?

9 thoughts on “Sharing is caring…

  1. WOW. What an incredible gift to receive.
    My past is filled with unknowns. My father could not/would not talk about his family. He was a German Jew which makes that unsurprising but… Sadly my mother’s past is also hazy. She was a drama queen and not above selective recreations.


  2. It’s my parents, I most want to know about – when they were “my parent” not before when they were younger. Although that might have had some bearing on things in my childhood. Most of the information has been “patched together” through comments from other family members, most of whom are not with us anymore. My parents died when I wasn’t even 25! So many times health professionals have asked me things, and I have no answer. The only link I have to my baby-hood is my Plunket (NZ) baby book…one of the entries has a lot to do with now, but actually it’s not correct because medical circumstances have moved on and what a paediatrician decided then, was wrong…nothing can be done of course, learnt to live with that “balance disability”


  3. How wonderful! I’ve tears in my eyes from reading your post, Cathy.

    ANZAC Day means so much…it means so much to me…it always has done from when I was a small child. It is a very, very…a day of respect, gratitude, love…and one filled with sorrow, too.


  4. And I’m an American, but the Gallipolis campaign has always fascinated me. How special to have your grandfather so closely associated with it.
    As for me, I look for more information on my paternal grandparents. I seem to be the only one interested, so the bother will stop when I’m gone.


  5. EC already said Wow, but still, Wow, and I am impressed that he fought in both wars and hopefully survived the WWII. Did you know him? I am being really nosy now. Have you kept your Brit citizenship?


  6. That is a special story!
    I really love that the internet makes it so much easier to find and contact the “people who know”
    Without it, that story might have been lost to you.


  7. It is staggering to learn what these men went through. As I did genealogical research I learned that my Canadian grandfather(who died when my dad was young) had been an ambulance driver in France in WWI. I can’t imagine the horrors he encountered.


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