Andrea (who has just moved her blog) yesterday did a posting about her grandfather. She was prompted to do so by a dream. I've had lots of prompts to do this one... Not least to balance the posting I did last Sunday about my mother. My sister sent me lots of jpegs in June and as I wasn't blogging then I had no where to put them!
When I read Andrea's posting I immediately connected not with my grandfather but my father.
My father was born in 1912, Griffith Henry Richards, in Wales (near Aberdare), when he was about 18 months they moved to Oxford in England.
This photograph was sent to the front when his father, Cyril, was in the First World War. My father is the boy on the right. His mother was named Ray after an uncle, she graced the name and made it both feminine and powerful; I never saw her looking like this and was amazed by seeing her so young; by the time I was aware of her she was a formidable matriarch. My uncle Trefor is on the left.
The only record we have of his father's war service is this which came from the National Archives:
I've no idea what it means (do please click on it to enlarge and try and decipher it if you know about these things!).
He survived the war, and the family expanded. Here in 1933 are my father (21), his three brothers and one sister:
I never met the younger two of my uncles as they died in World War 2.
Here is my father, 32, in India:
He spent a lot of time in Africa too and was always beginning anecdotes with "When I was in Rhodesia... ". He had been in the RAF before and during the war. He taught aircraft maintenance.
By the time he met my mother he was teaching in Oxford and mending cars. They married in 1957. And I came along in 1958. He was already 46. This photo is of him with me when I was a baby:
As it had been my mother's car breaking down and his mending it that had brought them together I was called Caroline.
His parents carried on living in Oxford, here they are when I was small:
My Grandfather, father's father, died when I was about 11, but I'd never really known him despite staying there for many holidays. He'd been a headmaster and he scared me! Gran outlived her husband and all her boys.
My parents ran a garage together in Gloucestershire until his death in 1976. He was 64, I was 17. He died of lung cancer, and yes he smoked.
The photograph of him at the top was one I took when I was about 10. Its how I think of him still.
Tantalizer 481: Happy Christmas - From New Scientist #1032, 23rd December 1976 [link] Oops! What the message is meant to say is of course: HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU FROM THE NEW SCIENTIST. Per...