I've been telling you about my husband's father lately. Today, Feb. 21st, 2020, would have been his 100th birthday. Richard wrote something on his Facebook and he has allowed me to share it with you here. (The photo above is of his parents on the beach in Eastbourne sometime in the 1950's.)
100 years ago today my father, William "Bill" to family and friends - was born in Holborn in London. Twenty - something years later when he and his two brothers were in various parts of the world fighting for their lives and our future, the family home in London was destroyed by the Luftwaffe but none of my family was seriously hurt. Tragically, my father died in 1959 - almost certainly as a result of his service during World War 2 - having spent five years of his short life in military service. When at last the war was over and my father returned from Burma to the family home - which was by now a prefabricated house in the southern suburbs of London - he arrived at the front door in the middle of the night. Rather than wake the family, he sat outside and waited for the day to dawn! This may be hopelessly sentimental but I imagine he enjoyed the peace and tranquility of the English night as he sat outside and probably smoked a pipe or two of tobacco. I hope there was a beautiful sunrise and dawn chorus as all the while he was looking forward to the first of many happy reunions. My father did come home from the war and I know hundreds of thousands did not, but the inscription on the Kohima Memorial in India to the fallen of the Campaign in Burma still seems appropriate to me: " When you go home, Tell them of us and say, For your tomorrow, We gave our today. " We owe so much to the Greatest Generation! Thanks, Dad! Wish you could have had a lot more time with us! And thank you, my friends, if you've made it through this! " At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them."
There...I hope you found that as moving as I did. The story of him getting back home and staying out in the garden...perhaps relishing the sound of the dawn chorus and the peace of being back home. It does paint a picture, doesn't it?
I knew that Richard was writing this and the song "You'll Never Walk Alone" came into my head. I think it fits this post. So, I have it for you here...