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97 Years of Age
by Ian Curtress

Chamberlain’s efforts failed as expected and those dreaded word spilled out from our Echo battery radio. A state of war exists between Great Britain and Germany
I saw My Mother cry
She saw her Husband and two Sons, a happy family; idyllic childhoods. Foretold horror
She saw the phoney war, the false sense of security
I remember when my Father came home and said he had left his job and joined the fire brigade
He would protect “His London” in every way possible
I saw them giving us an Anderson shelter, soon put to good use I remember the terror
I saw My Mother cry
I remember night after night expecting the worst
Vividly I still see the night we lost out neighbours
I lost a friend
I saw My Mother cry
I remember her working miracles with meagre rations
Our weeks rations could be eaten at one meal for one Son!
How often did she go without, saying oh I had mine earlier.
She didn’t cry
Worried about her Husband on London docks fighting fires every night
I saw My Mother cry
She had a special place, she thought we didn’t know
But we gave her her privacy and she understood when we were quiet, perhaps lost another friend
It was disturbing to find on our way to school, we became used to half another street down, rescuers digging
She must have thought, it was not so long ago she welcomed my Father home. 14/18 in the trenches, badly wounded, gassed.
War to end all wars
I saw My Mother cry
But now head down, a job to do. We know it’s going to be tough, but we’re a tough breed Then dreaded thoughts….. her Sons will become old enough for Service
I saw My Mother cry
After a very bad night her Sister asked do you think we can we win
I heard My Mothers voice, “no Jack Boot will ever set foot on British soil”
Then I heard My Mothers laugh.