Tuesday, 28 October 2014

My family in World War 1

It's hard to appreciate what life might have been like 100 years ago.  Until recently I knew nothing about  Heinrich Hoenen, my Great Grandfather who died in 1941 when my Mother was 2 years old.  Here's a clip of my Mum talking about him, some photos and an extract from an Obituary in the newsletter of the Lutheran Parishes Osnabrueck (1941):

"...Early in life when only 9 years old, he lost his father. Five years later his mother also died. 
Following his father's death, his mother moved with her children to Lengerich in Westphalia.  Of the six children four died in very early childhood, leaving only two brothers who loved each other dearly - Heinrich and Leonard.  Upon their mother's death the family was torn apart. Heinrich Hoenen became an apprentice to a master-saddler who also took him into his home as a foster-son... 
Heinrich was a dispatch rider during WW1
...[Heinrich married and was] blessed with four children. However, they were not spared devastating heartache, having to bury one son at an early age (Walter, 22/12/1912 - 19/12/1920 - died in the 'Spanish' flu epidemic that swept across Europe after the war). 
Heinrich Hoenen served in the First World War from 1914 - 1918. In the very first year of the war he was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class (Eisernes Kreuz 2. Klasse). He returned as Warrant Officer (Offizier-Stellvertreter).  The war was over; but in what state did he find our beloved fatherland and, in particular, Alsace-Lorraine (Elsass-Lothringen), Hoenen's second home! The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Haus in Metz had to be vacated immediately. Because of his German nationality Hoenen was forced to leave by the French, along with his family, having to abandon almost all of their possessions. Where should they go? He found a place to stay in Osnabrueck, and thus a new home. These few words contain much sorrow and pain that can hardly be appreciated by outsiders..."

Heinrich with his wife and family
My mother is translating his book 'The Guiding Hand' into English - as I don't speak German, I'm looking forward to reading more.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Favourite place at Sarehole Mill

Irene de Boo, curator and property manager at Sarehole Mill, shared her story with us this week. Irene was instrumental in the Mill's recent refurbishment project and in developing the site as a working mill that now regularly provides flour to a local bakery and restaurant.  You can also buy flour from the Mill itself, milled by a team of volunteer millers.

All the Sarehole Mill Stories will be available to listen to on this blog from the end of January and will be in an exhibition at the Mill in the Spring. Details will follow here.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

More stories from Sarehole Mill

Richard Albutt writes:

We had a very successful afternoon at Sarehole Mill  on Sunday 28th September, with Diana, Ann and Natalie  all sharing their mill memories with us. Here is a short clip of Natalie, and Elijah, talking about childhood memories of Moseley Bog:

listen to ‘Natalie and Elijah extract’ on audioBoom

We're now at work transcribing and working on interviews and photos for presentation in the new year at Sarehole Mill.  Interviews will also be available online.