I love good World War II stories. They are always fascinating — although (too) often sad and dramatic. Sometimes, they are just amazing. Like the tale of Ronald Brown, a soldier who stepped on a land mine in France and lived in silent pain with a shocking 170g of shrapnel in his knee.
It was August 1944. The mine explode just under him, getting his leg full of shrapnel. The doctors decided to leave it there but he never told the whole story to his family, who believed he only had a bit of metal in his knee. Talking to the Daily Telegraph his granddaughter said that Robert "never spoke much about the war... When we were very young he used to tell us not to sit on his knee because of the wound."
His daughter suspects that he didn't really know that all this could be in his leg: "He'd said there was a bullet in his leg but I was imagining one romantic piece of metal." As you can see in the picture, it was more a fistful of horrible metal.
Robert never discovered it. The family just found it out after his death, aged 94, when they cremated his body and the funeral home gave them a bag full of these terrible Nazi souvenirs. As his granddaughter told the Telegraph: "It's just macabre really and amazing because he never used to complain about the pain. It just shows how brave he was."
Indeed. [Daily Telegraph]