When my dad died, a little over a year ago, I came by some paperwork that allowed me to follow up on some of my heritage. So, accompanied by my grandson, Nicky, I found the grave of my Grandfather, Colin McArthur, a returned WW1 veteran.
Colin McArthur was the grandfather whom I never knew, never met. He died in tragic circumstances when Dad was 14.
Without Nicky accompanying me it would have been a sad and lonely pilgrimage to a simple memorial to a man I’d not seen yet have an affinity with.
Life was hard for my grandfather. Like many others, he returned from the war, having put his life on the line, suffered much and seen such tragedy among his companions.
Australia, along with the rest of the world, fell into the Great Depression. Employment was scarce and poverty common place.
My grandfather did his best to find casual work but was out of work more than employed. He did what he could to provide for his family of a wife and two small children and made his war pension go as far as possible.
Alas, as time went on, the demon, drink got a hold of him. This led to further poverty, domestic violence and an unbreakable cycle of suffering for the whole family, culminating in his death at age 44 in 1936. A sad end for one of our nations great heroes!
He’s also a hero to our family and to me!
Colin McArthur’s gravestone declares “His Duty Nobly Done.”