I’d always thought that The War (in this case World War II) didn’t have much of an impact on my immediate family. My dad was too young, and my grandads had long-standing injuries that meant they were unfit. Today I realised that The War really did have a major influence on my life – let alone others in my immediate family.
|My grandfather in uniform, at a |
How did you get a divorce in 1944? You had to prove adultery. And that is why my aunt was born in July 1945. And my grandparents married in October 1945.
So – what impact did the war have on my family? It split it. It gave my mother a new dad, and a new name. It meant we ended up with a really amazing grandad. Maybe my biological grandfather would have been nice, but we’ll never know. (That said, his grandchildren from his second marriage cried at his funeral, so maybe they did get a good grandad.)
|Mum with Uncle Jim.|
A completely different story for his wife. How sane would you be, if one of your first ever jobs was helping repatriate Holocaust victims to Palestine? As with many of Uncle Jim’s stories, we were sceptical – but no, she really did. Diagnosis: paranoid schizophrenia, with a side-order of violence. Army training really helped with that.
*this nephew is a result of war. His mother is first-generation New Zealander of Dutch descendent. His Oma wanted to move somewhere that couldn’t be invaded. And there was this guy with glasshouse pieces ready to move to