Saturday, August 2, 2014

Saturday Serendipity (August 2, 2014)

In a first for this weekly post series, I am recommending only a single item for your reading/viewing this weekend.  It will take less than 5 minutes for you to read this brief introductory description and view the CNN video . . . but I suspect the story will stay with you for many hours afterward and will probably be recalled often as this 100th anniversary year for World War I transpires in the coming months.  

Please DO pass this story on to others so that these brothers -- like their American World War II counterparts -- are not forgotten.    

    Here we are 100 years after the start of World War I.  On June 28, 1914, Austria declared war on Serbia.  On August 1, 1914, Germany declared war on Russia and on August 3rd Germany invaded Belgium and declared war on France.  Then the next day, on August 4, 1914, Great Britain declared war on Germany and suddenly, irrevocably, the first "world war" -- the war to end all wars -- was on.

     On April 15, 2013 I wrote here about the Blue Star Mothers of America (founded in 1942 during World War II) in a post focusing on the WWII service of my father-in-law and his three brothers -- all of whom returned home after the war.  The post was also an opportunity to tell briefly the story of the five sons of Thomas and Alleta Sullivan of Waterloo, Iowa.  All five of their sons signed up to serve in the Navy on the condition they serve together -- and they all died together when their light cruiser, the USS Juneau, was torpedoed twice during the Battle of Guadalcanal and its immediate aftermath.

(Lto R) Joseph, Francis, Albert, Madison and George Sullivan.
Photo taken on board the USS Juneau 14 February 1942.

    Few here in America have ever heard of the four Shallis brothers from England who died one-by-one in The Great War (as the British called it). As we now officially begin the week that marked the start of the war to end all wars 100 years ago, I highly recommend that you take a few minutes to watch this poignant video report about the Shallis brothers of England and the ultimate sacrifice that the Shallis family made a century ago.  View the video here.  It is only 4 minutes long. 

The four sons of George and Kate Shallis from Halston, North London, England: Burt, Leo, Harry and George.
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The photograph of the five Sullivan brothers on Valentine's Day 1942 is in the public domain as a work created by an officer or employee of the United States as part of his or her official duties. 

 The photographs of the four Shallis brothers is a screen shot taken from the CNN video at the link provided above.           
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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