Having posted that tidbit on my Grandfather, it occurs to me that the picture left in one's mind would be of an obnoxious evangelical zealot, bombarding any and all with his idea of God.
Perhaps this is part of the man. Not really the larger part of him though.
My Grandpa T was named Lionel. Lionel Claude in fact. Somewhere along the conversion trail he decided that he would take the name Joseph. He referred to himself as Joe. Ol' Jo was 100% disabled in the Great War. He had his left hip shot out. But prior to those days he was a character and a half.
L.C. was born waaaaaay back in the 1880's. He ran away from home after his widower father remarried. (I can relate) His relocation project brought him to Canada but after an aggressive child find program from his publisher father, someone recognised him and he was sent back to London. That lasted another two years and he was off for good this time. He sailed on the three mast sailing ships all around the world and had some glorious tattooes including an anchor on his hand between thumb and first finger.
L.C. was one of those daredevil types who did feats of strength at carnivals. He was very proud of his physique. He fell in love with a lovely English rose who knew right away this was a man who could not be managed. She begged off as she was devoutly Christian, and he worshipped only his body.
When war came, he was in his early thirties, but he joined up anyway. True to form, he was promoted several times for acts of valour and courage, and demoted more times for insubordination. His clarion call in the trenches was after being shot and left for dead, as he heard the moans of the dying around him. He saw advancing enemy soldiers bayonetting those left. His tract said the yells and screams of a wounded man brought him to his senses and he tried to tell that man to shut up, until he realised he was that man.
A Bible verse ran through his head, no doubt courtesy of the English rose. "Call upon me in your time of trouble and I will answer you." L.C. called. He was found by medics 3 days later and brought out. He went to see the English rose and she immediatly reminded him that the Bible Verse has two parts. The second part is: "... and I will glorify you."
L.C. got the girl, my grama, and lived into the 1950's as a Salvation Army soldier and a Shantyman. He never lost the spark though, and never regarded himself as disabled. He refused to take a military pension for this reason. I see many of the traits of this man I never met in my own father, and indeed myself.
I am proud old Joe was my grandpa. I look forward to meeting him in other realms.
I can't wait to hear the stories that some of those old salts alluded to wouldn't divulge.