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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A-Z: I Remember....War and Weddings


No - I cannot remember the WAR, but it was a feature of my childhood.  

My father often recounted his wartime memories to anyone prepared to listen.    I must admit we often thought "Oh, no - not the war again, Dad" and teased him about being in the Intelligence service.

So we were often regaled with his (no doubt sanitized) tales of being in London during  the blitz, his training in codes and cyphers, his attachment to the USA Army, landing at Omaha beach just after D. Day, marching through Normandy to Versailles and Paris, on through  Luxembourg, the bitter winter of 1944 with a meal of five boiled sweets and into Germany where he marked VE Day. 

It was only much later that I came to realise what a defining period it was in his life, and I persuaded him to write down his memories, which I made into a narrative, together with photographs and wartime letters between my parents   I am now very proud to have these. 

WEDDINGS did not feature much in my childhood, and only once was I a bridesmaid.  Here I am the shivering little bridesmaid  at the wedding of my uncle Charles Weston and his bride Vera in December 1946.  The dresses were apparently a dusky pink colour  and my mother  used to relate what a difficult time she had hunting for matching shoes in post-war austerity Britain.

My mother is the elegant woman standing behind me, with
my father on her right.

For my uncle it was a happy day,  as only  a year earlier he had returned from time as a Japanese prisoner of war, labouring on the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai. 

More W's 
  • What are your memories of the WEATHER - summer and winter.? 
  • Were you aware of the WORLD around you? 
                                       ONTO X

In Case You Missed

A-Z Challenge 2016 Theme Revealed:      I Remember......Memories of Childhood

C - Clothes + Church, Chores, Christmas, Crafts & Cars  
D - Dolls + Dogs & Desserts   
E - Events + Eating Out & Easter    
F - Food + Fads & Fashion and Freedom
G - Grandparents + Games 
H - Hairstyles + Hobbies, Houses & Halloween 
I - Inspiring Teachers 
J -Journeys & Joining 
K - Kitchens & Knitting   
L - Libraries     
M - Music + Movies     
N - Needles  + Nativity and Names 
O - Occupations
P - Poulton - My Ancestral Home + Poems, Pets, Penfriends, Politics and Protests 
Q - The Queen's Coronation  
R  - Radio + Religion, Remembrance and Russia 
S - Speccy Four Eyes + School, Sports, Sundays, Student Days and the Space RAce    
T - Toys + Treats, TV, Theatre and Technology  
U - Uniforms   
V - Village Life + Vacations and Values 

Copyright © 2016 - Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved



  1. What are my memories of the weather? Well, I live in the tropics. So we don't experience the 4 seasons. We just have rain or shine. But I do remember visiting the UK during winter and I've never forgotten how cold it can get.
    Lovely story.
    Aneeta from
    How to Tell a Great Story

  2. Bridge Over the River Kwei! I remember watching that movie at the drive in with my family. I can imagine your uncle was estatic. You were a very cute little bridesmaid. That's so wonderful that you got your father to share those memories and made a book of it. I wish I had done more of that back when there was the chance to do it. I recorded my uncle Henry once but he loved to talk and I know he would have let me record him often. He used to have dinner with my family every night when my kids were growing up and he was growing older and older. Now I'm really regretting it.

  3. How smart of you to realize the importance of the war to your father. Too many of us wait too long to ask questions and few think to ask for a written memoir.

  4. My Dad also wrote about the war (and the rest of his life) in a booklet and I have some photos he took overseas. It is great because before that he NEVER talked about the war.

  5. My grandparents sometimes spoke of the war and I was young and didn't write their stories down. Now I only half remember them - so frustrating. I am glad you got your father to write down his memories.

  6. Oh your poor dear Uncle. What a horrific experience that must have been. I loved the little details in your story of the wedding....we forget the frustrations of what it must have been like...not being able to get shoes to match frocks easily. We have it so easy these days.

  7. Thank you all for your kind comments. I think we all regret not asking questions of our relations when we can, and then it is too late. My aunt often regaled us with entertaining stories of the local lads she went dancing with in the 1920's and later her experiences as a teacher in a poor area. But I cannot remember the detail, and just wish now that I had asked her to write down her memories . They would have been a wonderful legacy.


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