“They say you die twice. Once when you stop breathing and the second, a bit later on, when somebody mentions your name for the last time.” – Bansky
Anniversaries are a time when we must remember not to forget.
Robin, Wallace and Eric Gray c. 1896. Both Wallace (the boy-child’s great grandfather) and Eric served in WWI. Eric was wounded at Messines on 7 June 1917, and was killed in action on 27 March 1918 in the Somme Valley. Image: Gray family archive, courtesy of Peter Duncan.
Although the ten day Messines Offensive was regarded as a military success (unlike the later Ypres campaign), it still resulted in around 25,000 Allied and a similar number of German, casualties (1). That included 3700 New Zealanders –700 of whom died (2).
One of those, non-fatal, New Zealand casualties was Eric Andrew GRAY — a great grand-uncle of the boy-child…
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