farse_sm.jpg EneryVIII.jpg

Monday, June 13, 2005

Petards, the Hoisting of

There's letters seal'd: and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,
They bear the mandate; they must sweep my way,
And marshal me to knavery. Let it work;
For 'tis the sport to have the engineer
Hoist with his own petard: and 't shall go hard
But I will delve one yard below their mines,
And blow them at the moon.

My great-grandfather on my mother's side was in fact that very engineer during WWI. Highly decorated, he was both a miner and a miner: dug coal in real life, dug tunnels under German tunnels and mined them in War life. Went to war a good catholic boy, came home a comitted communist and never breathed a word of it.

In other news, my wife has called to say that somewhere A Verdict has been reached. No doubt the television world has now stopped.

Aah: it's like the Royal Wedding or Diana's Funeral all over again. The route from Neverland is strewn with cameras and reporters, there to track every millimeter of the Ride to Court, should he decide to go there. He has a sore back, apparently. We know now, for certain, that it takes at least thirty-five minutes to reach the courtroom from there if you break the speed limit... and the verdict is due to be read in thirty! Oh, the suspense.

Does that count as some kind of confession, I wonder?

A plague on all their plooks.


Update: I guess it was a Wedding, then, after all?

4 Comments:

Anonymous stephenesque said...

So your great grandfather was a .... sapper? Is that the correct term? I believe it is. There is a good film to be made about this aspect of warfare. Of course, your great grandfather's forebears appear in Shakespeare's "Henry V", mining French castles, but theme should be dramatically updated.

1:57 PM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

Yes, I believe he was a Sapper - except we usually visualize sappers blowing-up bridges and railways. Not digging tunnels.

He was himself an irish immigrant to scotland. I doubt his forefathers were on Henry's side, somehow.

The family heard many stories second-hand. One of the great tragedies of WWI was that all the regiments were local - so all the men from the same village joined the same regiment, and the villages and communities would lose all their menfolk on the same day of the Somme or whatever battle. Or they'd come home and tell stories about what others did, rather than themselves.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous stephenesque said...

The scene in Henry V takes place between a Scotsman, Irishman, Welshman. Can't remember which of them is mining the castle. I should really read tha tplay again.
I did not know of the sapper distinction. Now I do. Thanks.

1:52 PM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

I wasn't disputing your definition at all, just explaining what I used to think a sapper was. Never thought to apply it to GGF.

Anyway: this is fun.

And now I need to dig-up 'Enery V to find out if his sapper was irish or not. Like I'd nothing better to do today, tut...

2:07 PM  

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