As previously written my grand-father served in WW1 and was inured; my children think I am brave because I got a medal for serving in Ireland at the time of the Maze Prison hunger strikes, but as I explained I don't claim to be brave as the RAF camp I was stationed at was well away from the action; the soldiers on the front line would have considered our camp for R&R.
I shall now tell you of two more family members who were brave.
My uncle John Oliver; uncle John was exempt from National Service, although he volunteered for the Royal Navy, his work as a stevedore was considered of national importance and it was during his work on the docks that he got a serious injury; he was over-seeing the loading of a cargo when he noticed one of the cargo carrying holders was comingloose, without thinking he rushed and pushed the man who was in the way of the falling cargo clear, the man escaped with only bruises but uncle John caught the full weight of the cargo and was off work and finally laid after several months with a serious back injury; he wanted to go back to work to support his family but he was not allowed to work for the injury.
We left Yorkshire and moved south to Bristol when I was about 8 and the next I heard about him was he had gone into hospital for an operation on his cancer; although he was told his cancer was so far gone there was less than a 10% chance of surviving the op, he went through with it, so others may benefit from knowledge gained.
There was a family story of how he dragged part of a Messerschmitt fighter across town from the Eston hills during the war; I was never sure how true this was until last year, when an article in Vintage Script magazine recalled the crashed planes; uncle John also claimed to have worked with Mike Harding before he became well known.
Uncle Len was in the Merchant Navy during WW2 and on the cessation of hostilities he joined the Royal National Lifeboat Institute. In the mid-1970's the lifeboat he was on was involved in a major rescue operation as a Polish tanker had floundered at the mouth of the river Tees and was in danger of keeling over; the boat was called out and Len and two other men were swung over on the boatswain's chair in the eight of a storm and in the darkness of the night; the crew were lifted back to the lifeboat and taken to hospital suffering no more than cut, bruises and shivers from the icy sea.
The whole crew got awarded the Lifeboat Service Gold medal for their bravery.
That to me is bravery.