Mudcat Café message #2191792 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #106200   Message #2191792
Posted By: Liz the Squeak
12-Nov-07 - 05:46 AM
Thread Name: Anyone watching My Son Jack?
Subject: RE: Anyone watching My Son Jack?
Lisa - a quick resume of the last 15-20 mins or so.

Jacks' parents spent years going through photographs of soldiers looking for him. They used Rudyards' contacts at Whitehall to gather information from various hospitals, believing he had only been injured. They interviewed what must have been every remaining Irish Guard until finally, in 1919 they found one who had seen him fall. The push over the top in 1915 had seen some of the battalion reach the enemy dugout and heavily defended command post. Jack, armed only with his revolver was last seen running towards this active machine gun and was shot in the leg and shoulder. He dropped and his glasses came off. He groped around in the mud and blood for them, crying in agony. The other Irish Guard was below him in the trench, saw him crawling but could not bring himself to go and help Jack out. Jack regained his feet and attempted again to rush the command post but the machine gun hit him in the chest and he fell there. At confirmation of his death, Rudyard finally admitted to his wife Carrie, that he felt guilty of his son's death, as though he had murdered him.

The last scenes were of Rudyard visiting the King, who greeted him with the comment 'I forgot to time you' as had been his habit. They faced each other and Kipling consoled the King on the loss of his youngest son John (see 'The Lost Prince', by Stephen Poliakoff) who had died recently. Kipling recited a poem - 'Have you seen my boy Jack' which he had written in 1915 when his son was originally posted as missing.