3 Men.

Mercian Man
2 min readJun 22, 2021

I have 3 men in my life.

Photo courtesy of the author. My dad and me.

My Fathers Father was born in 1894.

Aged 20 he joined the army to serve in World War I. He went over the top on 1st day of the Battle of Somme, June 1916, and was shot in the shin.

He did not get far. I don’t think he shot his rifle. His battalion was destroyed in a barrage of artillery and machine gunfire. He spent several days on the battlefield, and then 3 years in hospital. This was before antibiotics.

I cannot picture his face. All I remember is a voice from a wicker chair in a sunlight room in Suffolk.

He died when I was 3.

He is the man I wish I had known

My Mothers Father was born in 1909.

Aged 14 he left school. Working for the railway, becoming a Signalman and a Station Master. I remember him teaching me morse code. He could have played violin in a symphony orchestra. When we visited, we would listen as he played for us.

He was a keen photographer and we used to stand in the garden for him to take the family photo.

When he died I realized how few pictures he had actually taken. 3 rolls per year? It was expensive.

He died when I was 32.

He is the man who encouraged me to study.

My father was born in 1934.

He was a policeman in London and loved history. A wall in our house was covered in books. When I was young he was a big serious man. He never went to college but he knew more about history than any professor I have ever met.

He loved woodwork and talking to people

He was proud of me.

He died when I was 53.

He is the man I should have spent more time with.

These are the men that shape me.



Mercian Man

I write about life and the experiences that make us stronger. I enjoy Prefab Sprout, Blue Nile, Annie Proulx & Mervyn Peake.