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Grandad sheltered in pigsty - but forgot WWI whisky gift

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: August 31, 2014

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I WOULD like to pass on the following World War One memories passed on through our family concerning my grandfather, Benjamin Westwood, who served in an artillery unit from 1916 onwards..

Mules were used to transport the stripped down components of these big guns when necessary and, or course, mules being mules they often used to sit down and refuse to move.

One day one mule would not move no matter what. My Grandfather and his comrades kicked, punched, pulled, pushed, swore in Black Country English and in the little French they had picked up, but to no avail.

All this time a Frenchman, who was watching from his doorway, shouted something.

He went inside his house and returned with a kettle of boiling water and proceeded to pour it down one of the mule's ears.

Needless to say that did the trick. Cruel measures in a cruel war. The other memory that was passed on was the time my Grandfather with his two brothers received parcels from home in Gornal.

He was overjoyed to discover my Grandmother had sent him a bottle of Johnny Walker whisky.

Just as he was about to open it, one of his comrades decided to look over the parapet of the trench and shouted "Jerries coming."

When Grandad looked he said all he could see from one side of the horizon to the other was German soldiers charging the British positions.

Soon after the order to retreat was given and later on Grandad took shelter in a pigsty, only to realise he had left his whisky behind.

Perhaps a German soldier had his first taste of Scotch whisky?

Philip Westwood,

Cleobury Mortimer, DY14 8PZ.


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