My mother lost her Dad when she was only 12. From that moment on, she had to grow up quickly. She left school and stayed at home, looking after her 7 younger siblings while my grandmother, Gargie, went out to work. There wasn’t anyone to help out. There were no welfare payments. She had no choice but to walk 8 miles to work and 8 miles home again, to support her family.
My grandfather Fred Hamilton, was an older soldier when Gargie married him, having put his age down to go to war. Even with that in mind, he still died in his 50’s. Way too young. His youngest child was only 3 months old when he died. My mum had wonderful memories of him. The younger children were robbed of ever knowing this lovely man. He died as a result of war and smoking. Soldiers in the world wars were actually encouraged to smoke.
My mum, aunts and uncles lived very hard young lives as a result of Grandad dying so young. Gargie’s life was one of hard work and grief. She raised 9 children on her own after his death, during the Great Depression. This woman struggled.
We live a life our grandparents could only have dreamed of. It is thanks to the sacrifices they made that we do. The women who helped them try to get back to normal life when they arrived home deserve the same respect as the men and women who served in the armed forces. These women lived with men, badly affected by the things they’d seen. A few years back, I made this video clip as a mark of respect. I’m sorry about the quality.. It’s not the best but it is made with love and respect for those who gave so much so that we could live.
Please remember to take a minutes silence at 11am to honor their memory. I’ll be remembering my father Thomas and grandfather Fred, who fought in WW2 & WW1 respectively, as well as the women who loved them and helped them to deal with the ravages of war.
They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old. Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. Lest We Forget.