Our Century

Finding great grandad's grave

Nicola Wood, Wolverhampton,
Born 1982

Nicola Wood

"I was about 15 and we were on a school trip to the battlefield of the First World War in Belgium because we were doing it in history.

"Before we went I knew that my great-grandfather had been killed in the war and was buried in one of the cemeteries.

"My uncle had found out where and gave me the details.

"I asked one of the teachers if it would be possible to stop at one of the French cemeteries, and they said they'd see what could be done.

"Anyway, we crossed over into France one day and found Heilly Station cemetery. It is one of the smaller ones, beautiful and very well kept.

"It's so hard to believe it was once a battlefield because it is so peaceful today.

"I found my great-grandfather's grave. It was one grave, shared with two other soldiers.

"It didn't really hit me at the time but, looking at the photos afterwards, I was amazed that I had been there to where it all happened. I couldn't really comprehend it.

"Obviously, I never knew him and I'd only seen pictures of him but I did feel somehow connected to him. It was strange.

"I play the clarinet and I've been to Germany and France with the Penn & District Youth Band.

"We were the first youth band to play at Disneyland, Paris.

"I don't know what the 21st century will bring.

"I'd like to go to university, maybe at Lancaster, to read music and history but that's about as far as I can see just now."