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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Where Poppies Grow in September

The September block in the "Remembering Almo" project required a little thought, followed by a little rule breaking for me.  As you know I have been making my blocks using the army uniform colors of my Grandpop who saw service at Gallipoli.  But this block is named Red Cross and really did, to my mind, need to feature red. Looking through my fabric collection under the red heading I was able to find a red that had somewhat of a brown base to it so it will hopefully blend in with my other blocks.

Servicemen in the trenches were often victim to illness because of their poor living conditions as well as the expected war wounds. Thus hospitalizations and organizations such as the Red Cross were of major importance.

For Grandpop the month of September had several important dates. September 1, 1914 was when he signed up for war service at Oamaru. Prior to that time he had been working as a labourer on his grandfather James McAuley's farm at Georgetown (near to Oamaru).

On September 4, 1915 Grandpop was evacuated from Gallipoli to Malta with a diagnosis of enteric fever (typhoid). There was a very long hospitalization and convalescence after which he was finally transferred to Sling camp for a short training period where, after two weeks, he was appointed Temporary Sergeant on September 25, 1916. The next day he left Sling for service on the Western Front in France.

As you can understand, including the Red Cross block in the project is particularly appropriate.

The photograph above was taken during the time Grandpop was with the No. 6 Officer Cadet Battalion in Oxford, England. His active service in the front lines had ended on June 18, 1918 and he was posted to Oxford on July 5.


Cheryl Kotecki said...

This is a beautiful Red Cross block and such an appropriate tribute to your Grandfather and what he went through as a soldier. I wondered how they treated typhoid at that time, so I looked it up. They had developed a vaccine not long before the turn of the 20th century, but antibiotics were not introduced in the medical treatment until the 1940's. The source did not say what was done if you had the disease - which by this time they seem to have understood fairly well.

One of the many things I like about this series of blocks - besides how unusual and beautiful all of them are, is that they are all symmetrical and complex. I'm sure when you set this with the others, it will turn out that the obvious color difference is an asset to the quilt.

Denniele said...

Beautiful block! I have to agree with will shine in your quilt.