I have decided that I will try the April nablopomo challenge and get myself into the habit of posting every day instead of just thinking about it!

The theme for this month is “growing up”, so I should be able to ramble on about that for a month 🙂

I was born in July 1939 six weeks earlier than I was due, but as the due date was September 3rd maybe I had foreknowledge that something even more momentous would take place on that day! 

As soon as war was declared my father joined the Royal Navy medical service as a trainee sick berth attendant. I don’t know why he volunteered so quickly, but I like to think it was a patriotic act rather than to escape crying babies. It may have been so that he could choose the service then, but would have had to go where they sent him if he waited to be called up. I think too that he would have been happier where he could care for the injured rather than inflicting those injuries.

He did his initial naval training at Butlins in Skegness, which had been transformed into the “Royal Arthur” and then went to Davenport in Devon for the remainder of his training before transferring to an aircraft carrier “HMS Biter” which did convoy duties in the Med, North Africa and the North Atlantic, so,  for the next seven years I saw him only on infrequent leaves, and it took quite some time after the war to get to know him. In those early years he was  the tall handsome sailor who arrived (usually in the night) bearing food parcels and gifts he bought in the USA. I had no memories of him being home on a permanent basis and could not get my head round it when he didn’t go back to his last posting (Invergordon) in 1946. It was very strange when all the fathers came home again, we had been so used to being ruled by our mothers and the aged relatives. 

It must have been very difficult for my parents’ generation, the men had seen and done things they could not have imagined in their worst nightmares, others had found a courage they never knew they had, some of the women were reluctant to step back into their traditional roles having tasted independence and I think many marriages went through a sticky patch and others foundered.

As children growing up in the war we knew, of course, that there was a war, but as we knew nothing of life without a war we did not feel deprived. We did not miss ice cream, unrationed sweets, exotic foods etc because we had never had them!

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