April 28th 2016


Dear Reader

We have finally reached the end of the sequence of diaries that I planned to put online. It consists of 612 diary entries covering 7 years and 4 months, from before the outbreak of World War 2 to a year after its ending, and April 1946 sees my father sailing, once more, for India. His stay there lasts little over a year, as Partition forces the dismemberment of the Indian Army, and he returns to a job with the Royal Army Service Corps in the British Army in the UK – certainly not a glamorous job, but all that remained for many soldiers and pilots who had given the best part of their youth defending the Empire.

However, the past seven years has seen him achieve his two principal goals – he has survived, and he has found a girl to settle down with. So, in a sense, the remaining diary entries (which last in substantially the same format until the early 1960s), have a less interesting narrative. He died in 1971.

However, as a coda, I am publishing Angela’s (my mother’s) wonderful account of how she met him, and how she suddenly had to uproot from everything she knew to sail to India alone on a troopship with a three month old baby. She is now a grand old 94 (95 in 12 days time). I will leave her to finish off the story

Angela and son James, 2015

Angela and son James, 2015

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4 Responses to April 28th 2016

  1. Cynny Sharp says:

    And so I entered the world, and am now in my 70th year while five years ago this week I found Flashman’s Hotel in Rawalpindi and the exact spot where the photo of Mum was taken. Cynthia

  2. a gray says:

    I know how much effort it takes to do what you have done with your father’s diaries, but I had hoped that you would continue until your parents return from India. Their impressions of the period would be most informative, but I understand if that is not to be. This has been a great experience for me, and I have learned more than I could have imagined. Thank you so much for your postings.

  3. What a lovely postscript to the diary. I have enjoyed dipping into the diary now and again and it has given me insight as to how life was for our parent’s generation.
    When you visited us you spoke of a book you were planning to write about the second world war in Iraq in which our fathers flew together. Please keep me informed of this as I would like to subscribe for a copy.

    Best wishes,
    Simon

  4. tzeb says:

    Thank you for sharing this diary with us. I have enjoyed reading it and I will miss the updates.

    Regards,
    Theo

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