09 August 2009

The brain cells are rehydrated!

Hi readers
I have to confess that, when I wrote my last blog post, I was completely frazzled. My brain cells had shrivelled to tiny little mites of dust & I was barely functioning. I have remember the things I wanted to blog about over the weekend. All I needed was two days of peace & quiet & it's all come back to me. The highlight of my week (possibly the year or just generally a highlight of my life) was being at Leigh's house on Wednesday when her one year-old Zoe walked SEVEN steps by herself! Leigh tells me it was her longest solo walk to date & I was so excited because, despite all my friends having had about 20 kids over the past 25 years, I have NEVER been around for The First Walk! So, I was beside myself & I am shocked & mortified to think that I didn't write about that earlier. Okay, okay, so she'd already taken some other steps by herself but this was the longest distance! Get it? See why I am so excited? Oh... well... I am excited & I will just hold that thought to myself. Here's the Wonder Girl herself (below)
My other exciting news is that today, after about four hours goofing off on ancestry.com, I found some amazing information about Mr Beauchamp Wainwright. You may well wonder who this man is. In about 1985, whilst a student nurse at Mona Vale Hospital, I nursed Mr Wainwright after he had a car accident. At the time he was about 90 years old. We struck up a friendship & after he was discharged, I visited him at his home where he gave me his cap badge from his Royal Flying Corps uniform circa 1917. I keep that badge with me all the time. It is one of my most treasured possessions. I have been researching Mr Wainwright, figuring it wouldn't be hard to find information about his past & indeed, it has been quite easy (easier than Williams!) Today I found a photo of him, aged about 23 years old. Can you believe it? I was flabbergasted. He is the handsome devil in the bottom left corner. These photos were taken after the men gained their Royal Aero Club licences prior to joining the RFC.

I also found information about his migration to Australia in 1922 and previously, I found an interview with him where he described being captured by the Germans behind enemy lines & becoming a POW, which probably saved his life during WW1. Anyway, it was just incredibly fascinating & I had to force myself away from the computer to take Lil down to the beach. I just love history so much. Who would ever have thought? I think it's amazing that I have links to three men who fought in WW1 - Beauchamp flying his Sopwith Camel, my uncle Dougal who died at Paschendale and my grandfather Josiah who was there with the US Marine Corps. I wish I was clever enough to think of a fantastic story & write it... I do remember Mr Wainwright telling me that he had been a fighter pilot & that they didn't wear parachutes & their aeroplanes were made of paper. I just found MORE information about him saying he was shot down by a German on 28 August 1916 near Bapaume, France whilst flying a Morane type N Serial Number A173. Here is a photo of the 'plane (in case you're interested!)

On this note, I absolutely HAVE to stop! I am obsessed! I can't stop myself & I realise I will have to drag myself away so that I can get on with my life. Cheerio!


swell said...

Jen you ARE amazing! Super sleuthing girlfriend!
Would love to do stuff like that on my family...can you show me?

See you next WED night!

Anonymous said...

You are so right Jen, I was absolutely and totally intrigued reading all that. Give us more I say. The only reason I ticked the interesting box for that blog was there was no "absolutely amazing" box...and I had to tick something. Also, next time you see Zoe, tell her well done! love the bakewell tart