I was going to blog this week about a day in the life of a photographer, but I decided given that it’s Remembrance Sunday, I wanted to talk a little more about my grandad, who served in the second world war.
My grandad passed about 10 years ago now, but it’s only when you lose a member of your family, that you start to delve into their history and realise how much they achieved in a lifetime. My grandad was no exception, and because he suffered with a form of Parkinson’s disease, it was sometimes difficult to really get out of him what he experienced during his time in service.
I’ll be honest, what I do know about my grandads time in the war, is limited, and everything I know so far is from conversations with my mum, my aunty and my uncle.
I’ve tried to delve into his past, tried numerous archives, trawled through tons of websites and I’ve come up with… nothing.
I can remember when I was younger, walking into the room and the first thing me saying to him was “Name, Rank and Number” and him reeling off all his particulars in about 5 seconds flat. Unfortunately though, that’s about all the information I ever got out of him.
I’m told, my grandad was stationed within the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) where I believe he was responsible for tank repairs and recovery. He didn’t see “active” service, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t see some horrific things, loose some close friends and experience the war first hand whilst he was stationed in Belgium and parts of Germany.
Just being told you HAVE to serve your country, knowing you're about to leave your family behind, all of this with the very real prospect you may not be coming back, must have taken incredible and monumental amounts of courage.
I’m sure if I had the opportunity to talk to him again, I’d press him to talk more about his time overseas, because I’d absolutely love to visit the places where he was stationed, walk in his footsteps and learn more about that time in his life.
Both my grandma and grandad were both heavily involved in the British legion, and they’d regularly pay their respects when Remembrance day came around every year. I can even remember them both being stood in coalville Morrisons Collecting money for the poppy appeal in my younger years.
I’m going to continue trying to learn more about my grandad, and I have nothing but respect for him, the people he fought along side, and the men and women who continue to fight for queen and country to this day.
I’m going to close off this blog with a photo of my grandma and grandad from their wedding day (which I’ve been trying to restore all morning). My grandad is dressed in his army uniform, as they got married just before he was deployed.
Don‘t miss next week though, cause I’ll be blogging all about Amber, who’s wedding I’ll not only be attending as a guest, but as a photographer too!
Peace, love and Photos.