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.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Wildgoose's 119th Birthday

Walter would have been 119 today. In commemoration of his birthday, I want to celebrate three things I learned from this special guy.

Don't grumble (at least, not for long), whatever the situation. Here's a man who took life as it came full-force at him: the split up of his family, life in the Sheffield Children's Home, diphtheria, hard work on the training ship and the Oropesa, World War I, army life in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Northwest Passage, India, and Sudan, World War II, the deaths of three sons and his dear wife. He was pragmatic, but cheerful, whenever I encountered him.

Trust your instincts. Even if put in untenable circumstances, your gut will tell you whom to trust and whom to shy away from, what you want to be a part of, and what you should avoid.

See the humor in life. Sometimes, it's the only way to get through it.

Happy Birthday, Walter!
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posted by MaryB @ 1:18 PM  


  • At 5:13 PM , Blogger michael wildgoose said...

    I've just posted a comment about your blgsearch on a new (to me) Facebook group page on the Wildgoose family .
    Suddenly I've been getting posting from Wildgooses, so far from the Sheffield area. (Which is a bit weird cos my Daughter and her cousins, several called Wildgoose have been communicating via Facebook for years.) Maybe younger people use it for news and older, newer users like me are more interested in the past.
    Good luck on your Walter W search. I'll try to send you more information on other WW1 Wildgoose victims and veterans.
    Michael Wildgoose


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