My Grandfather Dreams Twice of Flanders, is a poem based on an experience Ron Butlin had when he was around six years old. That was when he first noticed people wearing poppies, and he asked his mother why. She explained about war, and about death, neither of which made much sense.
Then she told him about his grandfather who had ironically died on the day peace was declared, after lying in hospitals for years with injuries sustained earlier in the war. As a child he had nightmares, and the poem is a sort of exorcism.
Ron Butlin was born in Edinburgh in 1949, but grew up in the countryside in the village of Hightae near Dumfries. He has been a computer operator, security guard, footman and model, as well as Writer in Residence at Edinburgh University. He writes in English and Scots.
Images: © Poppy Scotland (Eamonn McGoldrick), National Library of Scotland (Scottish Screen Archive) & Newsquest (Herald & Times).
Have you ever come face-to-face with a photograph of a family member on Scran? Perhaps a parent, a grandparent, a great-great aunty, a long lost distant cousin…?
We know some of you have. At a Scran event last year we met a lady who identified one of the children featured in this photograph of Northern District School in Perth 1952 as her cousin!
We’ve also met: a student who found a photograph of her father, a former football player, featured in our Scotsman collections; a librarian who found a photograph of her fisherman great-grandfather pictured in his native north-east; a lady who found a photograph of herself in the school netball team back in the 1960s.
If you’ve found any of your ancestors – or even yourself – on Scran, we’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to share your family story on Scranalogue, please comment below or get in touch with us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember to identify the Scran image that you have a family connection with. You can do this by telling us its URL (its weblink) or by its USI number (that’s the small number that appears under each thumbnail image in search results and begins 000- and ends -C). Don’t forget to explain your connection to the image – just a few sentences will do. We’d also love to know your name and where you come from, but you can remain anonymous if you wish.
Images: © Perth Museum & Art Gallery. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk