The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Getting Ready To Welcome Home A Dad I Couldn’t Remember…..Demob 1945

Mum, dad and me..January 1941


I have no specific memory of VE Day itself, partly because I was only four and a half years old at the time and recollection from that age is often difficult to disentangle from imagination.

Dad had been sent to Algeria with the British army in the autumn of 1942 but even before then he had been stationed in various camps all over Britain since after call up in 1940 so, like millions of other young children, home during WW2 was a dad free zone. Throughout those years, however, in Britain, Algeria or, later, Italy, he wrote regularly to mum and always included a note for me, usually a set of funny cartoons.

So, for millions of women like my mum the importance of VE Day was as a sign that their menfolk, after years of separation, would be coming home.

The magic word was “demob”……demobilisation, the release of millions of servicemen from the routines of military life into “civvy street” and the process began just a few weeks after VE Day.
I must have sensed an air of excitement as I was told about daddy coming home.There had been some photos of course plus the little drawings and I knew about daddies from stories and nursery rhymes but otherwise “father” was in reality as strange a concept as the man in the moon.

I don’t remember his actual arrival. But I do have a few mental snapshots of the time the way most of us recall isolated events in our younger days. He must have returned in one of the earlier demob waves because I have a memory of houses up and down our road being decorated with union jacks and red, white and blue bunting and lots of signs saying “Welcome Home….Bill or Jack or Sid”….or in my dad’s case “Eddie”. I also remember my mum’s oldest sister, my maiden aunt (do they exist anymore?) lifting up me onto the wall of our front garden, giving me a small flag to hold and saying to my mum “he’s a flagpole” and them dissolving into laughter and me feeling very proud and important…

Precious memories….

posted by david in Uncategorized and have Comments Off on Getting Ready To Welcome Home A Dad I Couldn’t Remember…..Demob 1945

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