It shamed me today when I watched the proceedings at the Cenotaph that i couldn't remember what my family had done during the war. So I made some phone calls. Some things I had known but forgotten while other things I had never known. My family was lucky, it escaped the war relatively unscathed
My Dad's Dad was born in 1903 so he was not old enough to fight in the First World War. Although he was in his late thirties when the Second World War broke out, he didn't escape. He was too old for the frontline thankfully. He was a driver for the RAF based in London and he drove things everywhere and drove everything. Hampstead Heath was full of anti aircraft guns and a lorry compound. He escaped being posted abroad to North Africa due to a severely broken ankle.
His wife gave birth to my Father towards the end of the war and my Dad grew up with rationing and reminders everywhere. A family friend had an elbow that wouldn't bend because he had been shot at Dunkirk. They lived in London all through the war and survived the Blitz.
My Mum's Mum was one of those ladies who was suddenly allowed a much more independent life than otherwise she might have expected to have lived. She associated with officers and when she talks of the war, you can see it is bittersweet. Parties and fun times with friends who let go as if they might not come back and of course the memories of the ones that did not come back. My Nana was a very beautiful lady and she was based in London. The spirit of the Londoners at this time was a bright and shining thing in the face of adversity and she was one of them.
My Mum's Dad didn't like to talk about the war much at all. He was in the army posted in India. He at some point rode a horse and he also helped build a road. From this we suspect he was a Prisoner of War but we are not sure. As he and my Gran later divorced, finding out about him has always been tricky.
Family history is a valuable thing and I need to make a concerted effort to write more down... Least it be forgotten
Fly The Unfriendly Skies With United
2 months ago