Date: 01 May 2018 12:09 pm Title: Chapter 1
My grandfather was in a reserved occupation: electrician.
He was also in the Home Guard; along with Jimmy Perry, the father of Dad's Army.
I met him, Grandad, I mean, but I never got to ask him how the war years went for him. Mind you, he was bewildered by that time, and may not have remembered. But I wish I had been grown up enough to ask.
Everyone has their story...
Date: 13 Jan 2012 4:49 pm Title: Chapter 1
This is very poignant, but so true to life, Squirrel; it also shows a more personal element of Jem himself - he is someone we frequently only see as 'the Great Doctor'!
Certainly he wouldn't have been the only doctor to have been handed a white feather by someone who failed to realise that his profession demanded he remain at his post. (Conversely, I recall learning that in WWII, my own father, also a doctor, was very frustrated to know that he was in a reserved occupation and had to remain at home when his 3 brothers and 4 of his brothers in law all served in the Armed Forces.)
Despite the tragedy of those air raid deaths, there's a strange sense of justice in knowing that if anyone had to die, these were people who would be reunited in death with family members who had already died. Not surprised that after writing those death certificates, all he wanted to do was to get hojme to Madge and his own family.
Thank you for taking the time to re-post this.
Date: 13 Jan 2012 1:24 pm Title: Chapter 1
I missed this first time round, Squirrel, so I am delighted to read it. Last summer, I was helping the Dundee Transport Museum at a fete and was showing off a wartime desert staff car. One elderly gentleman had a tear in his eye so I asked him if he had seen service in the desert. He quite shamefacedly said he had spent the war years as a market gardener. It turned out that he had worked from dawn to dusk six, and sometimes seven, days a week for the duration, on acres of ploughed-up park land. He produced hundreds of tons of vegetables and fruit for both the Home Front and for the canneries supplying the forces. When I told him it was an honour to meet him and that he had done at least as much as anyone else to win the War, he said "Everybody says that but I still feel I dodged the column."
Wow! What a story. Poor man to be casrrying such guilt to this day. He has no cause with all that he did, but the ethos of the time must have been damning, and making good hard working people feel like they were in the wrong for having previously taken vital training that may well have saved their lives by luck of the draw.