Tonights blog is very personal, because it's exactly 101 years ago right now that my great uncle Charles Atherton was mortally wounded, he was hit by shrapnel and was so badly injured he would die within the hour. He wasn't alone though he was with his mates, a soldiers death. Three of his friends would die with him, one shell four men, the dreadfulness of the war was brought back home to his family in the form of a letter not even a knock at the door.
Charles is the reason I write, he started a small fire inside me that over years grew into a burning desire to do something different and that different was to write a book. You have read it!
Last year along with my best mate we shared a glass of port at the graveside of Charlie and his mate, then we tipped a little bit of the port along all the line of men in the plot, I worked it out when I got home, if we had poured a glass of port on every grave in Poelkapelle cemetery in Ypres we would have needed 300 bottles of port!
Charles was in the 20th Hussars and book three is very much his war, but thats a different blog.
So please raise a glass tonight if you can and remember 4 lads stood in a trench just chatting when they died, their last words were to each other, to their friends, I am blessed to have great friends.