Common Soldier

This is an article featured in the exhibition I am running for Grandads War book featuring over 200 artefacts he collected from his journey on the front line during world war two in the coldstream guards it features the full poem Just a common soldier and a photograph of my granddad Stephen simpson on remembrance day in the early 2000 wearing his medals and beret and a newspaper article that was run after his death by the Yorkshire post bruce smith in 2009
Just My Grandad

Preparing the exhibition for my Grandad’s war time artefacts, which he scrupulously saved throughout his journey on the frontline WWII in the Coldstream Guards ‘Fighting Fifth’ battalion has been the biggest project for me to take on to date, barring writing the book and raising 3 kids! This evening I collated a section on the poem that was found amongst his things, its called Just A Common Soldier. It’s famous now, but to be honest I’d never really read it properly before, until just now. I placed it next to a photo of him, taken one remembrance Sunday in Leeds city centre at the cenotaph, and put with it the article the Yorkshire Post wrote about him after he passed away in 2009; then I read it properly… and it’s a beautiful, humbling piece, it reminded me of ‘Why’ I wrote his book and ‘Why’ I’m exhibiting his things, his story, his journey, his poetry in artefacts. Together they summarise Just A Common Soldier and with his book now, as it is, I’m struck how very lucky I am to have captured his stories forever. Amanda x

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