Saturday, 11 November 2017


I don't actually need to be reminded by the annual (sometimes) over-mawkish TV and radio broadcasts of how much I owe to my father and his generation, who gave up six years of their lives to defend us from the genuine fascism of the Axis forces. I think about my Dad most days: occasionally, also, I think about my two Grandfathers who fought for much less clear-cut reasons in the Great War. Both served throughout the whole five years in Scottish regiments (The Black Watch and Cameron Highlanders)

I also sometimes remember family Christmases in the East End of London: my Uncle Tommy served in Corvettes on the Atlantic convoys, surviving being torpedoed three times. His sisters (my aunts!) Elsie and Irene were in the WRAC and WRAF respectively. I was, not surprisingly therefore, brought up to respect my elders, love my country and be prepared to serve it when called upon. I'm not sure how thrilled my Dad was when I joined the Royal Navy as a Helicopter Pilot: I think he was much prouder when I became a teacher!

Yes: I'm an old reactionary, a fossil, a relic of Empire and Commonwealth. But it is thanks to all the others of similar belief  who gave up so much on behalf of future generations, that we enjoy the freedoms taken for granted by many today...

Flt Sgt R J Bryant (My Dad)

Dad and I on my first Christmas leave!)

Sgt Jack Robertson (My maternal Grandfather)

Sgt R J Bryant, Snr (My paternal Grandfather)

Aunt Elsie, Uncle Tommy and Aunt Irene


chris said...

Well said David. From another old fossil. With a Grandfather in the first and Father in the second serving in the navy

David said...

You weren't tempted to follow them into the Peter? LOL!
Cheers Chris!