Willie McEvoy died at the Battle of the Somme not long after sending it.
Turning to the Williams side of the family, the photo on the left was taken in 1914, most likely in August. My grandfather, Ernest, was already in the army at the outbreak of World War I and this photo of his wife, Beatrice, and children (at that time) was probably taken at their home in Stoke Newington, North London. Most soldiers took similar photos of their family to take with them, or maybe this one was sent to him. My dad, Sydney (seated at the front), would have been three and a half.
Fast-forward to this year and another death. My brother, Peter, died at the end of September, having never recovered from a severe stroke in April. Peter was born on 1st August 1940, just after France had fallen and the Battle of Britain and the Blitz were just starting. Born prematurely, he spent much of the first weeks of his life in a shoe box in an air raid shelter. There's an odd symmetry in having occasion to remember Willie and Peter this year, as one died in battle and the other was born in the middle of one. Peter's war adventures started early, as when he was a few weeks old and the bombing intensified, my mother was sent with him to Sunningdale, to the west of London, which was considered relatively safe. The convalescent home was bombed on their first day there. My mum was given a lift some of the way back to London, but the van driver refused to go beyond the western edge so she had to carry Peter the rest of the way.
Peter Joined the de la Salle Brothers when I was three so I can't say I remember much of him in my early years. He was known there as Brother Gregory, which is why he was called Greg by many even after he left the order in 2000. As well as teaching (he did a long stint at St Joseph's College, Ipswich in the 1960s and early 70s, then at St Anselm's, Basildon) he founded the Lasallian World Projects, which involved taking older students to participate in school building projects in Third World countries. Below are a few pictures of him at various stages in his life.