a portrait of Henri  by quietpurplehaze

a portrait of Henri

Having noticed this studio portrait on the wall of The Bakehouse, where we are staying for a few days in Maidenhead, I asked our host, Laurent, about the photo. He told me it shows his paternal grandfather.

Laurent was just seven years old when his grandfather died but his memories of him are still vivid.

Henri served at Verdun in 1914-1918, as did his brother who, sadly, did not return from the war. Henri, himself, came back home suffering from frostbite in his feet.

Laurent remembers that his grandfather never wanted to talk about the war, and even used to become angry if the grandchildren were playfighting war with improvised weapons.

Henri's first employment on his return to civilian life was as concierge at The Westminster Hotel at Le Touquet. Laurent remembers that, because of his feet, his grandfather needed to use walking sticks in the house and a wheelchair when he went out.

He surmises that perhaps this was the reason Henri changed his work and became a croupier at the casino at Le Touquet because that job was mostly sedentary.

Henri's experience working as a croupier and seeing people lose everything and ruin their lives at the casino led him to give strict warnings to his children, also his grandchildren, never to gamble.

Thank you to Laurent for giving me leave to post this portrait and accompanying story of his grandfather, whose memory obviously means so much to him.

This was a fascinating read and I loved it
April 19th, 2018  
Such an interesting story and a lovely portrait.
April 19th, 2018  
Interesting story and great portrait.
April 19th, 2018  
Old photographs are fascinating
April 19th, 2018  
A very interesting story Hazel, Henry's life was changed forever by that awful war.
April 19th, 2018  
What an interesting story and wonderful portrait.
April 19th, 2018  
A really interesting story behind the portrait. Henri has sad eyes doesn't he.
April 19th, 2018  
Cool picture.
April 19th, 2018  
Wonderful story and portrait. War creates so many tragedies.
April 20th, 2018  
A poignant account...something we need to think more about in the world's current political climate.
April 21st, 2018  

Well I agree, Margo. We all tend to bury our heads I think. But then I wonder what more can we do?
April 21st, 2018  
What a find - well done and such an interesting story. And people think they have it hard now sometimes.
April 26th, 2018  
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