The Wildgoose Chase

I met Chelsea Pensioner Walter Wildgoose in 1977 when he was 87 and I was 26. Through a series of letters written over the last year of his life, he passed along his life story - the workhouse children's home, a life in the British Army witnessing the opening battles of World War I and life in India, a remarkable family surviving the bombs of World War II London. This blog will document my research and progress on the novel I'm writing about this amazing man.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

August 1914


Right now, I'm still flitting from subject to subject with Walter's story. I think it's just too hot to settle on anything. But looking at the timeline I've constructed based on Walter's letters, there's only one August that stands out: 1914. I've completed the first draft of this part of the story. It certainly needs more attention, but I've moved on to other years in his life. Nevertheless, according to Walter, these were the August 1914 dates that stand out:

  • August 4, 1914: England declares war on Germany – all units put on “mobilization alert”
  • August 13-14, 1914: Walter’s unit leaves Southampton and arrives in La Havre around 2am
  • August 22, 1914: Reaches Cuesmes
  • Aug 23 – Sept 7th, 1914: Walter now in C Company, Lincolnshire Regiment; BEF withdraws from Mons
  • August 26, 1914: The Battle of LeCateau; Walter wounded in the leg during battle.

It's during this time that his unit camps on the convent grounds and he's given the ebony rosary by the Mother Superior. Read the story here.

If anyone has specifics on weather, terrain, etc., that pertain to this area of Begium during August/September 1914, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks!

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posted by MaryB @ 2:34 PM  


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