Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

My Grand-uncle Was My Muse

My grand-uncle, Fleming Hines, was the inspiration for my family history research, I can even recall the very date that I started, because it was his birthday, January 18, 2006, he was born January 18, 1897. I had no idea what day he was born until then. I just knew that he died during the First World War, still in his teens, and buried in France. He was a private in the 19th Battalion,Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment).
I feel that it was more than a coincidence that I was drawn to the military site, because it left me with a lot of questions about him. The story my grandfather told was that he was too young to enlist, so he lied about his age. I discovered that he has two attestation papers, with two different birth dates, and neither of them is the right year.
My grandfather went on tho say that he gave his life by jumping on a grenade to save several other soldiers’ lives. The truth, I do not know yet, I have the form to get his records, but I haven’t sent them in, I have been procrastinating about sending in the form to get the information for the simple reason that, I like the story about his being a hero, that’s the story that my dad grew up with and I grew up with, and I knew so little of my family history that it would be a disappointment if he died from an illness.
I know that he died in Etaples Military Hospital, September 18, 1916, and is burid in the Etaples Military Cemetery in gravesite reference: X E 8 and from further research about the campaigns in the area, he would have been in the Battle of Fleurs-Courselet, the first battle where army tanks were used, which was towards the end of the Battle of the Somme.
But, I’ve been researching my family history ever since that day and have learned that’s what family history research is all about, finding the truth, so I’m going to do it, I’m going to send for his military records and find out the truth, I think I’m ready. I think that My Uncle Fleming was a hero just for going over in the first place, he didn’t have to go, but he wanted too, to preserve his family’s way of life. He didn’t come home, it doesn’t make any difference how he died, he’s still a hero.


Here’s my grand-uncle’s memorial marker on the back of his parents’ gravestone,
the middle initial and dates are all wrong.


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Filed under: Family Files, Genealogy, Haines/Hines, , , , ,

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