My Uncle, Horace Maynard (1896-1918), was one of 14 children brought up in the Cardiff slum of Tiger Bay. His mother was a widow and found it very difficult to make ends meet. I do not know if this was why Horace enlisted, but his last letter before he died referred to her getting his soldier's allowance. He was shot on the Somme in July 1918 and died of his wounds. I always knew the location of his grave and assumed someone from the family must have visited it. As the years rolled by, I realised that they had all been too poor to go in the immediate aftermath of the war and that no one, in fact, had ever been. A few years ago, when I entered my 60s I made a vow to visit my Uncle's grave before I died. In the Spring of 2010 I kept my vow and made the journey to the Somme. I took with me some rosemary from my garden (for remembrance) and bought a small wooden cross to put on his grave. I never knew Horace, but always felt his life had been wasted and it was painful to think that no one had visited that grave in 92 years. When I stood in front of his grave, it was a very emotional experience and I cried. I am glad I kept my promise.
Copy of two letters by Horace Maynard Photograph of Horace maynard Tribute to Horace Maynard