Soldier's Son / Edition 1

Soldier's Son / Edition 1

by Ben W. McClelland
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1578066255

ISBN-13: 9781578066254

Pub. Date: 02/20/2004

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

In December 1944 First Lieutenant Ewing R. "Pete" McClelland was captured in the Battle of the Bulge. Soon afterwards in an Allied air attack on the German POW camp where he was held, he was killed.

Back home in Pennsylvania, his young widow and three small children survived him. Too young to have lasting recollections, Ben W. McClelland, the soldier's son who

Overview

In December 1944 First Lieutenant Ewing R. "Pete" McClelland was captured in the Battle of the Bulge. Soon afterwards in an Allied air attack on the German POW camp where he was held, he was killed.

Back home in Pennsylvania, his young widow and three small children survived him. Too young to have lasting recollections, Ben W. McClelland, the soldier's son who was just beyond infancy, became one of the war's fatherless innocents for whom the memories of others would form the paternal image.

As the boy evolved into manhood, he reflected on how strange it was to grow up without this parent. In this narrative, a work of analysis as well as an odyssey into family heritage, the son undertakes a compelling search to find this man he could not remember. Through sentiment and nostalgia he depicts the innocence of childhood and recalls the many people who furnished impressions of his father.

Old photographs, intimate letters, and interviews with the memory keepers and the storytellers in his extended family were resources from which the author recreated a time and a place and a person. This reconstruction resurrects a father vital in life and passion, a man chronicled in humorous family tales, realized among vivid small-town characters, and seen against the contrast of social changes of the1960s.

The search for his father consumed most of a lifetime. As Ben W. McClelland was approaching the age of sixty, he had recovered this lost, never-before-realized identity. But to complete the circle of his quest, he undertook one thing more, the emotional pilgrimage to his father's grave in Europe.

Although many other memoirs detail the experience of the soldier on the fronts of battle, this one brings an understanding of his sacrifice in wartime, of the resounding meaning of his death for his country and for his family, and of a son's profound yearning for answers that fulfill.

Ben W. McClelland is a professor of English and holder of the Schillig Chair of English Composition at the University of Mississippi.

Check the author's website.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781578066254
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Publication date:
02/20/2004
Series:
Willie Morris Books in Memoir and Biography
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
4.80(w) x 8.76(h) x 1.06(d)

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsXI
1.Killed in Action3
2."Dad, It's Benny"6
3.Where I(t) Started8
4.The Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony24
5.The War Honor Roll30
6.Talking like Crocky35
7.Family Heritage Personified50
8."Get Some Black-Seeded Simpson for Us to Sow, Benny"77
9.A Cabin of Family Stories108
10.The One Who Called Me Bolo131
11."Let's Go to the Circus!"149
12.A Moment's Riches154
13.Pop162
14."Masontown Officer Killed in Germany"206
15.First Love222
16."Speak the Speech, I Pray Thee, Trippingly on Thy Tongue"235
17.If You Value Freedom, Seek Justice243
18.Grandma Wright259
19.Split over the Vietnam War272
20.Another Parade, Another War Memorial277
21.Learning More about Mom and Dad281
22.Pilgrimage298
23.Reaching a Milestone306
Epilogue309

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