Domenica Chiochetti painted The Madonna and Child fresco behind the chapel altar from a postcard his mother gave him to take to the war. It was of Barabino's Madonna of the Olives, the infant Christ offering an olive branch of peace to his mother. (Maggie Parham's obituary of Chiochetti in the Independent, 13 May 1999: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-domenico-chiocchetti-1093227.html - accessed today)
Soldiers took postcards, teddy bears, all sorts of personal icons into the carnage of war - precious links to their mother, family, home and humanity. But there is no greater love than that of a soldier for his comrade. A WWII soldier got reluctant permission from his officer to go back to his comrade who'd been shot. As soon as he arrived, his comrade said: 'I knew you'd come,' and died.
Today's photo is of a red Pulsatilla vulgaris 'Rubra', a cultivar, in our garden. It is now dying down so the redness is less rich.
It's almost two years since I published In Our Fathers' Footsteps (see under BOOKS). My latest book, One Dog and His Cop, about my cousin's police dog,was published 30 November this year (see under BOOKS).