January 1st, 2015, is the centenary of my grandfather, Christopher Alphonsus Dixon, enlisting in the British Army, a day that would lead him into the First World War to fight at Gallipoli in the straits of the Dardanelles.
He was 17 years old but lied about his age. Here is his war record:
Christopher was hit by a Turkish soldier’s bullet, in the elbow joint on his left arm. He could never raise the arm above the shoulder for the rest of his life.
My grandfather must have seen the romance of the Dardanelles as a vacation abroad compared to the horrors of St Joseph’s industrial school in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland, where he had lived for several years. A place now gone, but which fits well into the annals of depravity in my country.
Below are some pictures of him before and after his injury.