Monday, 28 December 2015

Family Gathering

16:52:00 Posted by Sheilagh Dyson , , , No comments

c) C J Heyworth December 2015 (with apologies for lateness and brevity)

           As children we get used to family gatherings to celebrate public events (The Coronation in 1953 I remember especially) births, birthdays, engagements, and weddings, and to pay tribute to someone’s life at a funeral with attendant wake.

Until well into my thirties I recall most family gatherings  being of contemporaries (my cousins and friends’ family gatherings), engagements, weddings, births and Christenings - all looked towards the future with only occasional exceptions, but when older family members spoke they were seemingly fixed on recollections of the past. When my maternal grandma, Nan, spoke of The Great War we learnt that she meant WWI, whereas The War to my parents generation meant WWII.

At any family gathering, therefore, it seemed that “wartime” was a given, and well into the 1960s and my late teens, WAR was a fixture in family conversations. But the recollections were cheery, rarely sad. I’m sure all of my relatives survived, as so many of their fellows who had lived through privations and the threat of defeat, by being good-humoured - the Home Front sounded to have been suffered with high spirits and indomitable determination that “Hitler is a twerp”: Dad’s Army captures it very well.