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  • Writer's pictureWendy Sura Thomson

This Man Enlisted in WWI at 15

This is my grandfather., who joined the 42nd Blackwatch at the tender age of fifteen. What were you doing at fifteen? What are kids doing today, age fifteen?

Yesterday a researcher found my grandfather's military records. I searched for decades, with no luck. Why? Because my grandfather enlisted as Frank Thomson. He enlisted as Frank Thomson, 20 miles from home. He rode his bike to St. Andrews because everyone locally knew him, and his age.

This man is the inspiration for the new book I am writing. They just don't build them like they used to - the more I find out about this man, the more impressed I become.

Don't you think that as we gather more life experience we gain perspective and notice nuances formerly lost to us? "If I knew then what I know now..." what questions I would ask. It's a sad fact of life - timing is so important. So I am researching as best I can. My book is historical fiction, because I have to fill in the big holes between the snippets I know. Nevertheless, this will be a paean to him, and to all of the other adolescents that endured more than most of us can ever imagine.

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