Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Remembering

With it having been Remembrance this last weekend, I thought I would add a piece (again) about my Great Grandad.  (some of you might recall this was a post back in January 2012).... I was very fortunate to have known him into my teen years.    This photograph was taken at the end of WW1 just before coming back from France.



on the back of this photo it says: 'AJ Keen  France 1918'   -  He was always known as Jimmy Keen

(unfortunately I don't know the name of the horse)

a very proud and brave man but I think you will agree that his expression shows the strain of some of the things he must have seen.  I do know that on one occasion some of the horses got loose and he went out 'under fire' and got them back.  His Commanding Officer said he would get the highest military medal for that act, but sadly his CO was killed before he could make it official.

His love of horses had been with him from his boyhood years, born in Ireland and coming over to England at about the age of 12 he worked as a stable lad.  This is how he met my Great Granny, Angelina Burrell, as he worked as stable lad to her family of Knepp Castle in Sussex, they fell in love and the rest is history as they say.  Great Grandad then got a job in racing yards.  I know at one time they were in Cranbourne (that was in 1905 when my Gran with born) and then back to Sussex in 1910 and the Downs Stable yard in Findon where he was Head Lad.  He was devoted to his family but also his horses which were so much a part of his life.  


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8 comments:

  1. He came home, so many of those brave men didn't.
    I will wear my poppy with pride today.

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    1. Thanks so much, so are we and remembering them all.

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  2. How great that you knew him and have such great memories of him. Love the photo!

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    1. Thanks Joan, he was such a lovely person :-)

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  3. Very interesting story. And weren't you lucky to know him.

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    1. Thanks Robin. I do feel lucky to have known him, he would tell me lots of stories about the horses he worked with.

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  4. Dear Ann - what wonderful photos. So glad you shared these pictures from the past. So hard to believe that during WWI they rode horses to fight. This is a great reminder of how sad war is for all who saw it and those who lost loved ones. So glad your great granddad survived and came home.

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    1. Thanks Debbie, it must have been a difficult time for all back then, I'm glad I shared this, in a small way he isn't forgotten :-)

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