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  • They laid him in a small quiet country churchyard, their little angel who had been robbed of his chance.

    They didn't record of what he died, only that he had, aged just four years and that he had been dearly loved. Their grief must have been unbearable as the little coffin went down and the vicar prayed.

    Little Sam deserved his shot at life, his time in the sun to love and laugh and play. Why is it always the children? "Suffer the little children to come unto me" Poor little Sam, he would have been too young even to understand what was happening to him. I pray it was fast and merciful, whatever was the thing that snatched away his life.

    What might he have been, Little Sam? He died in 1922 aged four so he must have been born in 1918, a small symbol of new hope in a world struggling to recover from the inhumanity of the trenches.

    He would have been the right age for the second world war. Would he have been a great hero? Would his survival at age four have been only so that he could die in that conflict? In which case surely it is better that he remained forever innocent and pure, eternally playing with the other angels in the garden.

    Little Sam died ninety years ago, in January 1922. His grave was untidy when I found it. A lovely peaceful place but clearly nobody was looking after his spot except maybe the church gardener. It seemed his relatives had forgotten him, or perhaps there was nobody left to remember.

    I cleaned his grave up a little for him and brought him some flowers. I pass that way often, I'll bring him some fresh ones every month. Sleep peacefully little buddy, I'd love to have known you. Wish I could have helped you.

    This story is dedicated to Sydney Arthur Moss (Little Sam) who left us on January 18th 1922 aged four years and nine months. Rest in Peace little guy.

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