Saturday, September 05, 2009

World War Two Snippet B

To improve his education opportunities, during World War Two Mine Host's father boarded in town. (though not far from home, only 11 miles).

He boarded in a house with 3 other urchins/larrikins his age, all were schoolfriends first, & later boarded together. Father, because he was from "too far" out of town, his best mate as he came from a large family & his mum had enough kids to handle alone after her husband joined up, & so on.

The housewife (& mother of some of the kids in the household) was also the sole grown-up in the menagerie. The houseful of kids needing care & discipline kept her mind occupied. Her husband (in his 40's) was in the Navy, posted as "Missing Believed Prisoner-of-War" (of the Japanese).

He remained a "believed prisoner" for the duration of the war. His fate being telegrammed to the house a few weeks after the Nagasaki Bomb.

The telegram confirmed that he had indeed been a prisoner of the Japanese, and that he was demobbed & on his way home. Only a few days later he arrived home. Apparently his arrival most poignantly reinforced something that was only just entering the national consciousness: ie, What it meant to have been a prisoner of the Japanese.

In 1946 the couple, in their 40's both, had another child, 12 years younger than the (previous) youngest.

The returned sailor passed on in the 1950's (a legacy of his treatment as a P.o.W.)
The children (including the 1946 model) have all since passed on, & every child who boarded in that wartime house has passed on (except one)

Epilogue to this tale, and the reason it is postworthy?
It has just been discovered by Mine Host Sr. that the woman he boarded with in WWII is still alive, and pretty much as sharp as she ever was. They haven't seen or heard of each other in almost 60 years. This is due to change shortly. (Thousands of miles separate, and dad doesn't travel as well as he used to)

Humble Correction: Dad travels very well, just that he "doesn't travel south in winter."

No comments: