Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Encountering my father

In the way that travel plans occasionally consumed me over the last few weeks I headed off in search of Private Harry.It was a complete diversion, but reminded me of the fact that this trip to England later in the year is at least partly chasing ghosts. The ghosts of two dead grandfathers, one of whom was worshipped and adored by his wife and daughters. The other of whom nothing was ever spoken. I decided a couple of weeks ago that I would in fact not chase them. Though the effects of these men's lives have deeply impacted my family, I don't need to stand at their graves unless I happen to be there.So it was a surprise to go chasing my father's war record...as I say a complete diversion. It was not something of which he spoke much. But we looked at staying at Victory Services Club which seemed like a good idea at the time. In order to so do I needed to prove my father was a soldier.This became harder, and then a little easier, and then harder again....I think unless I can turn up an active RSL record (he died 20+ years ago) it will be too hard. Then Adelaide turned up what is in my mind 95% likely to be him
Enlisted on the 29th june 1944 was sent to the Leicester Regiment until 1946
onto the Border Kings Own (now not in existeance) and ended in
East Lancashire Regiment in 1947. But did not have a demob date.
Unfortunatetly there was not a date of birth or address BUT they gave me his army number

At least once he seemed frighteningly close in a way that he has not been for a decade. And I wondered about whether the ghosts would come crashing in and what this would all mean

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