In the lanes of County Cork, I found unexpected reminders of my great-grandfather’s military travels
• Ian Jack is a Guardian columnist
County Cork is full of twisting little lanes, lined at this season with steep banks of wild roses, foxgloves and fuchsia; and last week I got lost in them. First the road narrowed, then it grew a strip of grass down the middle, and eventually turned into a rough gravel track that climbed steeply and turned sharply into what looked like the remains of a farmyard, where it stopped. As I started on a three-point turn, a dog began to bark and a figure appeared, a man in late middle age, who by the state of him looked to have spent an entire life among cattle, manure and straw. He was smiling.
“You’ll have taken the wrong road?”
In the world I grew up in, the King-Emperor had disappeared from postage stamps