Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Sparrows' Footsteps: Poems on a Trip to the Past

Sparrows’ Footsteps Poems in Scots & English by Sheena Blackhall. Published by Lochlands, Maud, Aberdeenshire.Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen. Cover: Paul Nash: The Menin Road(Wikipedia Commons)Cost: £3.00.Copyright: S. Blackhall August 2014. This book is dedicated to the memory of Pte William Middleton, 6th Gordon Highlanders, 266834 killed 9/4/17 on the first day of the battle of Arras. Buried in the Highlander Cemetary Rollincourt, Plot 1 Row A Grave 15, and his brother Pte John Middleton, 7th Gordon Highlanders, 2974, Le Touret Memorial Panel 39-41. After only 47 days on French soil, John was killed in a road by the battlefield. They were my father’s paternal cousins, from Tarland. His mother’s maiden name was also Middleton. Three of his maternal cousins, who were an Aboyne branch of Deeside Middletons, were also killed.(Charles Middleton,Pte 422290, 8th btn Manitoba Regiment, born Birse, died 14/6/1916, buried Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium). His father John ('Alberta, Golf Road, Aboyne) had 7 sons in WW1. 3 were killed. On August 4th 2014, 100 years to the day of the outbreak of ww1, I set foot in Belgium for a trip to the battlefields and cemeteries of the region. The information surrounding the poems is gleaned from the Belgian Battlefield Guide, local guide books, and the web. All of the poems were written during this time. Thanks are due to Les Wheeler for his continued encouragement and support in agreeing to publish this little pamphlet.  

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