Sunday, November 11, 2018

A Silk Remembrance in Hand from The Great War

No medals or photos do I have, but delightfully, I do have a silk, tiny light blue handkerchief that my grandfather William Markley brought back from The Great War, or World War I, as we now call it.

It is faded although it has been kept in a box by me for at least forty years since my mother gave  her collection of handkerchiefs along with this treasure to me.

The treasure part is not the value of it in dollar terms, but the  possibilities and wondering what
the story was as to how my Grandfather was able to secure such a delicate item to bring to my grandmother along with the fact that it has survived. 

The handkerchief is soft,  light blue silk surrounded by beautiful lace and says Souvenir de France.  It is a wonder that it has survived 100 years! 

It would be a treat to share a photo with you, but I still do not have the cable that was ordered from
Amazon.  The cable will connect my camera to the computer and I'll be able to post photos again.
Word via email came late on Friday that it is in San Miguel.  Therefore, I'll pick it up on Monday and share a belated photo with you.

Back to my grandfather.  We only met once.  He lived in Arizona and was born in Farmington, New Mexico. In fact, his family had the first Navajo Trading Post. This fact was not known to me until a trip to Gallup, New Mexico for the Intertribal ceremonies and traveling on to Durango, Colo. A stop in Farmington at a museum was a grand surprise.  There in the museum was a replica of the Markley Trading Post.                                                                                                                                   

 Although he and my grandmother had  been divorced since my mother was about ten, he came for my grandmother's funeral in Shreveport, La.  It was a brief visit with no chance for conversation that I can remember.  I was a young teen, fourteen years old, according to the Family Bible.

Also, in that Bible, it says that my grandfather and grandmother married in 1908, so this could have been a "love" gift from him to her when he returned.  Who knows?  But, that is the intriguing part.

Looking at this small piece of silk cloth, there are a million possibilities of what the story is about this small token of love and hundred years ago.

On this anniversary of the armistice of World War I, my thoughts also go to all the relatives, my father, uncles, brother and husband, among others who have fought during other times of war.  IF only there would be no more wars and we could all live in peace and harmony.  Imagine!


Retired Teacher said...

An uncle of my mother fought in the "Great War". Although I have no momentos, his name is inscribed on the monument in the center of my hometown in Ohio. He survived the war, but he passed away long before I was born.

Babs said...

Very interesting! Sorry I have not been good about commenting lately on your
blog. Life has been crammed full of all kinds of "stuff". Hope all is well with

Retired Teacher said...

No problem, Barbara. Unfortunately, another stay in Mexico City is drawing to a close. I will return home on Thanksgiving Day.

Dee Tillotson said...

Babs, such a great story. Just love to hear stories of where our soldiers brought home war brides, and if a movie is made of love in the midst of war, my nose is glued to the television set. I do have my grandfather's draft card for induction into the army. Just before he was to leave for training, he carried fresh meats and produce from his farm in Bulloch County, Georgia to Camp Stewart (now Fort Stewart in Georgia) because the men stationed there were quite sick. It turned out to be a very deadly strain of flu brought back on the ships from Europe. My grandfather contracted this strain of flu from them and brought it back home to the farm. At age 24 the flu took all his strength and invaded his lungs. My mother was only 8 weeks old at the time, and she with my grandmother had to leave the house so the house could be quarantined. Nothing could save him (except if he had stayed away from Fort Stewart). During World War I, this was a disease that generally attacked young people; this is why so many old people were doing the nursing as over time generally the older ones built up
an immunity to the disease. Families never knew when their sons were pressed into service if they would return alive from the fighting or as a survivor of a flu pandemic. I do have some portraits of my grandfather as a young man, but never had the pleasure of knowing him.

Babs said...

Dee, I love hearing other peoples' stories. I never heard about the flu and that it was a pandemic. The tragedies people endured back then were so much more severe, IMHO, then some of the things we endure today. Thanks so much for sharing.

alcuban said...

Barbara: That is a lovely story. I have bits and pieces of family memorabilia but nothing that could tell a story. I wish I had talked to my mom and dad, and grandparents about the family when they were still around because alas, with them gone, so are those threads of family history.


Babs said...

Al, my Mom was a great documenter both in the Bible and in lots of notes both on photos and in writing about the family. I do still have a sister near Chicago but her memory is fading......I know lots about my Mom's side of the family but not that much about the history of my Dad's!

In fact, just recently John sold a house on Aldama to a woman who turns out to be a distant relative on my Dad's side of the family. She gave me all kinds of historical information. Small world.........