The title refers to several narrow squeaks in my family history, which, if they had gone the other way, would have snuffed out my male line.
Squeak the first – My ggggfr Joseph William Bazalgette RN, Louis’ eldest son, insisted on joining the navy during the Napoleonic war and served until 1815. He was involved in several dangerous engagements involving using the small-boats under cover of darkness to sneak up and capture enemy vessels in port. So there were many occasions when he could have been killed, and since he didn’t marry until after the war that would have been the end of it. On one such escapade he received a musket ball wound in the upper left thigh, which laid him up for a year. If that ball had been a couple of inches over it would have taken away the family jewels.
Squeak the second – Joseph RN only had one surviving son – Joseph the civil engineer. He was a small and frail child who suffered from asthma. Since there was very little in the way of treatment available in those days he could have succumbed to an asthma attack, which brings us to….
Squeak the third. Joseph’s eldest son Charles Norman, my great-grandfather, did in fact die of an asthma attack in his forties, only a few months after the birth of my grandfather, so if it had been earlier that is another way in which that line would have been extinguished.
Less of a squeak was that my grandfather was in the great war, where he could well have been killed but at least my father had been born in 1913, before he left.
So we survived, but only just!