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 Post subject: What your ancestors did in their day
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:53 pm 
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We were talking at work a few weeks ago about what our relatives did in the war.

Thought it was an interesting subject to talk about considering there are a lot of is interested in history.


My most interesting one is my great grandad (dads mums dad)

Everyone that knows the real details is sadly gone now, but it turns out he was a sergeant in the Gurkhas during the war. Was at Dunkirk too.

Not much is known about the details, but remember talking to my grandad a few years ago and the one thing he remembers is his future father in law describing what he did to a nazi soldier with his bare hands. Apparently that was to scare my grandad away from his daughter!

Oh and my grandad still had his ceremonial kukhri, but unfortunately the fighting one was lost in action. It is well cool.


Aside from that my other grandparents were really all too old to fight or too young.

They all have cool stories about watching the dog fights and bombing runs above London though.


Forgive me if no one is interested, I just think this could he a cool topic!


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 Post subject: Re: What your ancestors did in their day
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:09 pm 
Good idea, Jack. I think it is important to keep these stories alive for posterity and remember what people did and the kinds of lives they had before our cushy 21st Century existence. ;)

My parents were both born during WW2 - my Dad was born under a table during an air raid, so I'm told. They both have vague early memories of life during the blitz, evacuation etc. Sadly all my grandparents passed away long ago, so I have very few details.
With my Mum and Dad getting into their seventies now, this reminds me I should probably get them to tell me more things that they remember or were told by their parents, and write it all down somewhere before no one is around to pass these memories on.


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 Post subject: Re: What your ancestors did in their day
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:51 pm 
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Cool topic Young Jackolas.

My Mums dad went to france and while on patrol upon sighting Germans for the first time was shot by friendly fire as they ran away! he spent his entire war in a POW camp reading the bible and learning broken german.

My Dads dad was in Africa... never spoke of it and took it to his grave ... My guess, it wasn't pleasant.

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 Post subject: Re: What your ancestors did in their day
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:03 pm 
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This post was so good the misses and I talked about it over dinner :P
I have the winner although its not my relative ..... :(

Mums side
My grandad was a desert rat and got blown up twice on different occasions, the second time he had to learn to walk again due to the shrapnel. supposedly he died with bits still in him at 70+.

Dads side
My great uncle died in a mid air collision whilst on a pathfinder mission flying a mosquito.
My grandad worked on aviation breaks and tires in the 50s and 60s at dunlope but the war ended as he was sailing out to join.

The Misses is directly related to WG Grace ie the cricketer. Her grandad was part of the homeguard in both world wars, her great gran was a land girl in the 2nd.

I'll do 2karl as he won't and has an impressive story,
His dad is part of the aryan race with a swastika on his birth certificate.
His real second name is Schneider which was changed when his gran married an English officer after the war....thus changing his Dads second name to Smith I believe.
His Grandad went down with the Bismark!

Impressive stuff. :mrgreen: Made me want to learn more Mr Jack :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: What your ancestors did in their day
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:26 pm 
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See!
This is what I'm talking about! Interesting stuff guys!!!


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 Post subject: Re: What your ancestors did in their day
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:27 pm 
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My mate Michael's grandad was a u boat captain.

That's pretty cool imo


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 Post subject: Re: What your ancestors did in their day
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:42 pm 
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Not ww2 specific, but my dad was a farrier in the dragoon guards.

Never saw active service thougj


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 Post subject: Re: What your ancestors did in their day
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:39 am 
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Mum's dad was an engineer aboard a Sunderland flying boat off Africa, or so my late grandmother always said.

Dad's dad was in a protected profession and sat out the war.

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 Post subject: Re: What your ancestors did in their day
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:12 am 
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My mums grandad was the same, he owned a shoe factory that ended up making boots for soldiers


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 Post subject: Re: What your ancestors did in their day
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:02 pm 
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Eddie and Louise were my grandparents on Dad's side. Eddie was a chemist, and worked for the Admiralty in munitions development - so when war broke out, they naturally knew what to do with him: they pulled him out of that post and put him in the RAF as a mechanic.
After the war, he went back to munitions work.

George and Gladys - my GPs on Mum's side - met while working for the medical corps: George was a nursing sergeant, and Gladys was an RN. After the surrender, they were part of the occupying allied forces in Germany. Somewhere in the family, someone has George's D-Day German phrase book - it's brilliant! My brother and I found it while we were learning German at school. It's full of stuff like "I will tell you only my name, rank and serial number," and "Hands up!" and "Are there any panzer divisions near here?" - All essential learning for a kid learnign German in the 80s.

After that, Grandad joined the prison service and served as prison officer, rising up a fair way during his time, before he left in the 70s - "These new criminals are an 'orrible lot - they claim its society's fault. Not like the old honest villains - they knew what they were doing. They said it was their job to nick stuff, the bobbies' job to nick them, and they knew it was our job to keep 'em banged up."

I reckon there are interesting stories outside of "what the old folks did in the war" - so with that in mind:

Aunt Kathleen was really my cousin, but because she was brought up with Gladys, my Grandma, as though they were sisters, we always called her "Aunt".
She was shy but sweet, and she married quite late - she and Jesse both worked at Westminster Bank, in the training department. One day they just popped out together at lunch time and got married.
Jesse was a shrewd banker, and very old school. He wore a shirt and tie while he was gardening. He kept bees, and never drank alcohol.
He quit banking when the training plans changed - to encourage people to get into debt so the bank could make big profits off the interest. He disagreed with that in principle, refused to teach it, cashed his shares and left.

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 Post subject: Re: What your ancestors did in their day
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:14 pm 
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Fair play to Jesse, I bet that was a massive move back in the day!


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