Throwback Thursday #59


It’s Lauren’s turn to host Throwback Thursday. This week’s prompt is: Passing on the Stories

It is about those family stories that so many of us were told as children and young adults.
When we were growing up mum often told us stories from her younger days. She had a good memory for the things she was interested in. She could tell us the name of every dog and cat the family had ever owned and they had a lot of pets over the years. The earliest stories I can remember her telling us were about her own childhood. In the photos below you can see mum as a baby with her grandmother, the family in the 1920s, mum is front row, centre; and in the 30s where she is the one with the long hair in the back. She was fourteen there although she looks older.

I always thought that mum’s early life was very interesting. Her father enlisted in the British army when World War One broke out. He remained in the army after the war and took the whole family with him when he was deployed first to Jersey, and later Malta, Egypt and India. Mum would tell us many stories about travelling on troop ships and trains across India, about the going to the bazaar in Cairo, and what it was like to live in barracks. Sadly, I can’t remember a lot of the details of those stories now and wish that I’d written them down. Mum remembered the names of places she lived but I think she remembered them phonetically so trying to find some places on a map was a challenge. We know that they lived in two places in Egypt, Abbassia, near Cairo and Moascar. In India they lived in Jabalpur and another place, the name of which I can no longer recall. It might have been Pune, that name sounds familiar. One thing that I remember asking mum was what they army was actually doing in those places. She was never really sure but then she was only a child at the time.

We did not live close to mum’s family when we were children and only saw them occasionally so I didn’t get to hear many stories from my grandparents. I wish I had because I’d like to have heard about their childhoods as well. I do remember my grandfather joking and saying “When I was a little girl.” he was born in the 1890s and there was a photo of him as a child with long curly hair. I did hear a few stories from mum.

I never met mum’s eldest sister Marjorie. Sadly, she died aged eighteen of malaria while the family was in India. She was seven years older than mum and so travelled about more than the others. I have a photo album of pictures she took showing an army camp and some aircraft and other things she saw. I think I would have enjoyed hearing about what those places were like from her point of view.

One thing I noticed when I was older was that when mum and her sisters did get together and talk about old times they would argue about specific events. Obviously, they remembered things a bit differently and none of them would ever concede that someone else might be right. Especially not mum, she was never wrong.

I also used to enjoy hearing stories about mum’s experiences in World War Two. She was in England then and lived in places that suffered bombing, Rugby and Liverpool. She got a job in an aircraft factory working on a machine. She described air raids and how much she disliked going to the air raid shelter. She often used to tell us a funny story about how she and her younger sister fell down a manhole during the Blackout while they were on their way to the cinema.

She did tell us the story of how she met our dad. As far as I can recall the story went like this. Mum and her workmates had seen a letter in the newspaper from a man who wrote about how he had a hard time finding a girlfriend because he had a facial scar or a birthmark. They all decided to write letters back to him but I don’t think they intended to post them. One of mum’s friends decided to post mum’s letter though and she recieved a reply, not from that gentleman but from his brother. They started to go out together and got married in 1956.

Our parent’s wedding day.

There are a lot of things that I wish I’d had a chance to ask about. As I mentioned I’d like to have known more about my maternal grandparents’ early lives and aunty Marjorie. I’d also like to have known more about my paternal grandmother. I do remember her but she was hard to communicate because she was deaf and I now suspect that she may have been in the early stages of dementia because she talked about things that I didn’t understand. She was born in Canada of an English father. I wish I had been older so that I could have tried to communicate with her. All our grandparents passed away before I was ten.

Paternal grandmother with her children

We are lucky to have many old photos from yesteryear even though we don’t know who all the people in them are.

Neither Naomi nor I have children of our own so there is really nobody else to pass the stories on to but I guess every line has to end somewhere.

Taswegian1957

I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.

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