My mum has been researching family history for a few years and has found some incredible links to Singapore, where my sister and I now live with our families. It seems we had many relatives living here from the late 19th Century through to the mid-twentieth Century.
One of those relatives was Frank Drysdale. He was a volunteer soldier in 1915 at the time when some Indian soldiers in the British Army mutinied. He immediately went into action against the mutineers and was killed during the retaking of the main Tanglin Barracks, now a restaurant area called Dempsey Hill. He was killed 100 years ago yesterday and Mum and I spent the day visiting sites where he spent his life including the barracks where he was killed.
We ended the day at his grave which is in the far corner of the impressive Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, a small area of land still owned and maintained by the British Government. We were fortunate enough that the British High Commission sent a representative, Mick Saunders, to lay a wreath along with Mum. The Cemetery Manager Mr Kannaya Somu also attended. Mum told the story of Frank's death and a few of us read poems and prayers.
During the day Frank changed from being just a name into a real, incredibly brave, young man and it was very moving to end the day by his graveside. His body was identified by his father exactly 100 years ago but, due to his terrible injuries, he was only recognisable by his blonde curly hair and his inscribed cigarette case. He was 18 years old when he died.