The name Verdun is something of a mystery. Well, not me being called Verdun, that was easy, I was named after my father also Verdun Luck. This could have led to complications with two of us around, but clearly the first half of the twentieth century wasn’t ready for a name like that and he was always called Vic.
How he got the name is a bit more complicated. He was born in March of 1916 as the battle of Verdun raged in France; it was the big event of 1916 if you happened to be German, or more particularly, French. No British troops were involved and there was no CNN rolling news, which makes it unlikely that my paternal grandmother would have come up with the idea.
One version that seems possible and I prefer because it very much sounds like service life, has become family history. My grandfather had been a regular soldier and had established, over the years, a way of getting information past the censor which was to put small marks over certain words or letters that grandmother could decode. It would seem that the censor officer had got wind of this and changed the message to “Verdun” (being the big news of the day). Grandmother didn’t understand the message, so concluded that it was to be the name of the new baby, who was safely christened by the time grandfather got home.
Or, maybe some other reason.