1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Johnson William Double Double

Contributed by: Mrs R Waller, on 2008-11-06

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First Name Johnson William Double
Surname Double
Year of Birth 1877
Year of Death 1917
Regiment Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Place of Wartime Residence Southampton, Hampshire

Johnson William Double's Story

My grandfather died at Passchendaele, after having served in Gallipoli and twice being sent home wounded. His younger brothers had already died; Charles aged 29 at a PoW camp near Kassel in Germany and Harold 19 at Hawthorn Ridge. My grandfather wrote a diary and it is not pleasant reading. My father was only three years of age when his father died; he had ten surviving siblings. Some of the children were placed in an orphanage in Southampton by my ailing grandmother who I met only once and the luckier ones went to the City of London Freemen's Orphanage School as my grandfather was a Freeman due to him serving with the City Imperial Volunteers during the Boer War. My father had no recollections of his father and never spoke of him until just before he died, when he called out to him several times. From his diary it is evident my grandfather was an educated man and he played the piano to entertain the troops. He never complained and just wrote down the facts each day. I will be visiting our family grave in Highgate Cemetery on 11.11.2008 with some of my cousins who I eventually met in 1994. I have been to Tyne Cot where my grandfather has a memorial, to Hawthorn Ridge where Harold is buried and to Charles's grave in Niederzwehren Cemetery. My father's family was ripped apart by WWI but my cousins and I are reunited and will never forget these three brave brothers.

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