Saturday, 12 November 2011

Their War

Sonata:
Like most of us , I've been remembering people this weekend .
Family stories of wartime . Grandparents , uncles and aunts memories of being evacuated to Perth or to Wales or being stuck in Rawalpindi , hoping that the Japanese could be halted in Burma , at least . Of being hauled over the coals for not laying one's WAAF uniform out neatly enough for kit inspection . Of Aunt Gladys being machine gunned by a low flying German plane in Cornwall and having to fling herself on the road . Of Aunt Grace's cousin's son in a POW camp in Italy .
Of seeing John Gielgud in Macbeth in Glasgow , before going off to fire watch for the night . Of Arctic convoys and Malta convoys and of pears costing a shilling each . Of lunch time concerts and of hearing Churchill telling the nation that Singapore had fallen . Of the introduction of soap rationing and the absence of barrow boys . Of Polish pilots and call up papers . Of Dunkirk and malaria and whale meat .
My father's sketch of himself in his new uniform , ready for anything .... though not , perhaps , being torpedoed




His mother writing that she'd seen a neighbour's son going up the road on his motorbike , with a sailor riding pillion ... and her sudden wild hope that it was him . And this photo of my mother's parents at the outbreak of the Second World War , their faces showing that they knew just what awaited them ... and their teenage sons


13 comments:

Tattie Weasle said...

Their war: our freedom.

Fran said...

We who haven't lived through a war like that just have no idea, do we?

Mrs Smith said...

We will remember them.

Tania said...

Those everyday wartime stories and memories seem entirely remarkable and extraordinary to me. Me, sitting at my computer, my children snug in bed. Me, still remembering, stopping to give thanks, explaining a little to my kids, of why we are blessed.

Marcheline said...

Great post - loved the drawing, especially.

Suzanne Jones said...

A very moving post.

X

mise said...

Such a sad post, and very effectively written.

Rattling On said...

One of my best friends was in the Falklands conflict and his ship was hit. I remember seeing it on tv and being terrified. He came back in one piece but was never really the same again.

Friko said...

The folklore of war, the tales people tell, the adventures they had; and it's all so futile, so heartbreaking, so endless.

There are families who are gathering these memories today, this very day, about their soldier boys and girls at war this very minute.

Freda said...

I used to listen to my mum and dad and their wartime stories, I wish now I had written them down to share with the grandchildren. A poignant time this past weekend.

love those cupcakes said...

So many stories. So many tragedies. So many to remember. So much to be thankful for.

Molly said...

And WE think we live in hard times!

Liz said...

Love the story of your aunt Gladys!

And the sketch.