My First Hero/Damian Grange

I remember my paternal Grandfather with great affection, Other than my Father, who was one of his sons. He was without a doubt the first man that I looked on as a hero. He was a tall barrel chested man with balding ginger hair and a large waxed moustache, which was his pride and joy, he tended it lovingly, like a gardener with a prize flower.

In his late teens and early twenties he was a champion racing cyclist, when the sport was in its infancy. When war was declared, although by then he was married with several children he volunteered and enlisted in the Cyclists Machine Gun Corps. He was sent to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force and returned a broken man.

Whilst in action on the Western Front, he was Mustard gassed and had a piece of shrapnel from an enemy shell embedded in his spine. This shrapnel moved from time to time and when it did he was in excruciating pain which used to often send him in to black moods.

I was fortunate, he was always kind and patient with me even teaching me the rudiments of the game of Chess, not an easy task with a fidgety six years old. My cousins however used to suffer his anger, to this day I have no idea why?

Every Easter without fail, he would give all his grandchildren and there were several of us, a hand decorated Easter Egg. Each one different and painted to suit the child, the girls had flowery girly ones and the boys more masculine ones all lovingly painted by him. Because he was an invalid, money was tight but this was his way of making us all seem special to him and I for one will never forget Him. Hopefully I honour him with every word!

© Damian Grange 2017


I am a 74 yrs old aspiring author. In my life I have been many things, I am relatively well traveled and have many and varied interests. I was on the British goth Scene for many years and a certain amount of my writing still reflects this. I write under the name of Damian Grange.  You can read more of my writing at Malcolm Marsh – Author

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