Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Lest we forget

Things feel a little low here at the moment. Mother-In-law continues to deteriorate and I feel sorry for my husband and his Dad as its such a strain watching her fall.
Today I have just watched the service to remember the fallen of the 1st world war at Westminster Abbey. It made me remember my own family.
My Dad served in the RAF in WWII - he survived but his best friend Reggie, a rear gunner, didn't. I still have the last letter he sent to my Dad. (Martin's Dad was in the Navy, Tank Landing craft- we invaded it he was there- North Africa,Sicily,Italy and of course D-Day on Juno beach) He never talked about it much until recently- I think it was too painful. .My Aunt served with SHAFE and my granddad's close cousin died in the invasion of Sicily.
But it was those of my family who served in WWI that I feel the have some desperately poignant stories.
My Grandad was gassed and buried alive on the Somme. It was whilst convalescing and shell-shocked that he met he met my Nan who was a VAD. During WWII he worked on the railways and was once again buried in a bombing raid during the London Blitz.His shell shock returned and he was a mute for a long time after this (my Mum was an ace lipreader) He was a wonderfully gentle man who I loved very much and he never let on to me what he'd been through.
But probably the saddest story came to me by accident after my Mum passed away (6years ago this week). I was looking through a box of old postcards, photos etc... and found a lot of postcards written to my Nan from her cousins. They were full of arranging to meet up, cahtty news and things they did together- they were obviously all very close and very young. The next thing I found was a picture of Bradwell War memorial - All their names are on it.
I feel I should honour them today. I loved my family and I am very proud of them. They are all gone now- I miss them.


Heather said...

What a terrible price your family paid for peace, and how grateful we all are for their dedication and sacrifice. One of my uncles was in France or Belgium during WW1 but never spoke about it. My Mum's two aunts remained single as they both lost fiances during that war. My Dad was in the Army during WW2 - less than A1 fitness kept him in the UK and probably saved his life. We must never forget.

sharon young said...

I was so sorry to hear of your family losses, but at least we remember what their sacrifice was for.
My young GS has just passed on Michael Morpurgo's book private peaceful which is about WW1 and trench warefare.
It's an impressive/sober read and i felt very glad and proud that he had read it, having asked for it for his b/day.
Hope your feeling a little brighter.