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.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

In Honor of Walter: November 11

"Yes Mary, when you mention World War I. Fancy being now 65 years ago, and yet I can remember many things that happened. I laid in hospital having been brought home from France in 1915. I went to Clopton War Hospital near Stratford on Avon. I picked up the morning’s paper to read the casualty list which was issued each day. It was on the 9th May 1915, that I read of my poor brother Bert had been killed in action. I was 25 years old at the time and Bert was 26 years old. He was a Lance Corporal in the Black Watch. His regiment went straight to France from Meerut in India, the Meerut Division. I was very sad for weeks over reading the news. We had been great pals at school in Sheffield as school boys. It happened at the Battle of Aubers Ridge in Festubert. Poor Bert! So if he had lived he would now be 90 years of age. The flower of Youth was squandered away of the all the participants. And still they are remembered after all these years despite another war has taken place, not counting all the little side shows around the British Empire (as it then was) which is no more."

- From a letter dated 26th November 1979

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posted by MaryB @ 6:48 PM  


  • At 5:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hello Mary,
    I tried emailing you but the sending failed. My great uncle John Dudley Haney was a contemporary of Walter in the Smilter Lane Children's Home, Sheffield and was sent to the 'Clio' with Walter. I'd love to share the stories of these two amazing men so would you please email me:


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