Sid and Rose Meltzer on their wedding day, before Sid left to fight overseas. 1914. Collection courtesy of their son, Sam Meltzer, a veteran of the Second World War.
Sid Meltzer's hat badge of the Middlesex Regiment.
Victory Medal 1914-1918.
"My grandfather Joseph, who had served in the Austrian Army before settling in England, installed him with the disciplined life that the military had to offer, and its advantages."
My name is Sam Meltzer. My father's name was Sid. My father was born in 1890. I have a picture of him when he was thirteen, when he was in a winning swim team. He was also a champion cyclist, and served before 1914 as an apprentice, as a woodturner. My grandfather Joseph, who had served in the Austrian Army before settling in England, installed him with the disciplined life that the military had to offer, and its advantages. Despite the wartime animosity that was against anyone with Austrian roots, my father prevailed, claiming (rather emphatically) that the Royal Family were descended from Teutonic base.
He served in the British Army – the Middlesex Regiment – and he served at Cambrai and Flanders's Fields, in the Douai-Arras area in last part of the war. And with the arrival of the Americans, the last year of the war he caught the craze of the jazz age. He livened up the ensuing Depression by playing in a Dixieland band, and started in a transportation business. A true survivor in the old spirit. He never talked much about the war, and that's about all I know. I was born, by the way, in 1918, in October, while he was still in Flanders.