A red rose gathered between the trenches on the Western Front (Loos-Lens) in August 1915 by my 19 yr old grandfather, Charles (who lived on Shaftesbury Avenue) & sent home to his sweetheart, my grandmother May. It still has a faint sweet fragrance.#WW1 #OneCentenary100Stories
He did come home & they got married & had 4 girls. They were blissfully happy until he died at 50, his heart weakened from being gassed. He was an avid filmmaker & we have colour films of him returning to the trenches in the 1920s, to visit the graves of his friends.
Whilst my grandfather was at the Front, he also kept a sketch book in a little brown leather autograph book. This is a self-portrait at Ytres, March 1918. #WW1 #OneCentenary100Stories
And here's his entry from Christmas 1917, which he spent at the Somme, at Baizieux, north east of Amiens. #OneCentenary100Stories
Here's Charles in his late forties with Edward VIII, whom I'm afraid to say, was very drunk at the time (they're supposed to be soberly discussing advances in electrical engineering).
In 2016, we held a special service for Charles at the wonderful St Anne’s church in Soho (@AnnesSoho), where he was baptised & sang as a child. He grew up in a magical flat in Shaftesbury Avenue, surrounded by opera singers & music hall stars, and a close-knit bohemian community.
His great grandson laid the wreaths. @AnnesSoho

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