When Isaac Edward Sampson was a youngster, he acquired a reputation as a sharpshooter. The legend was that you could flick a tickey up in the air and he would hit it with a shot from his rifle. It was a reputation that would eventually cost him his life. He was the brother of my grandmother, Edna Gwendoline Sampson, a strict matron of the old school, a teacher who was an adherent of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union which sought to stamp out the scourge of alcohol. To us, she was granny, who made white bread and served it with homemade butter and homemade apricot jam. When the First World War broke out, South Africa, a member of the Commonwealth, went to war and young men such as Eddie - as he was known - enlisted.  As a member of the South African Infantry's 4th Regiment - the South African Scottish - he would find himself on the brutal Western Front in France. He would participate in what historians regard as the first "industrial war". Hundreds of thousands of troops would f...

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