A personal, historical vignette
By Cainnech O Sullibhain
Everyday, we go about our routine totally unaware of the lives of people around us. But sometimes our lives have been changed because of the circumstances.
So, I’ll begin my story. In early 1937, I was only four years old, and it was at lunch time that my father came home. Both my mother and father were sitting having lunch, and I was in the next room. The conversation between my mother and father was about the death of Sgt. M. Orchard of the Royal Artillery, 3rd Battery who had died in the British military hospital the night before. My father, an army doctor, had been responsible for that death. The colonel in charge had ordered my father to treat Sgt. Orchard for malaria, when in fact he had pneumonia. The reason for the misdiagnosis was that the colonel had been sweet on the wife of Sgt. Orchard and wanted him out of the way. My father had been forced to commit murder. I listened in to the whole conversation and was shocked. Little Jimmy Orchard was my friend. I was so angry that I could not even cry. So, I went out of the house and sat in the garden thinking about what I had heard. Being so young, I was not able to face up to the issue, so I blocked all of it out of my mind. One day in 1997, I awoke in the middle of the night. I was perspiring profusely and the whole story of what had happened on that day in 1937 came back with a bang. Everything in my life had been guided by an unknown hand.