View From The Glen

Thursday, November 11, 2010

War Stories ...Part I

In honour of Remembrance Day I am writing a series of war stories that I have been told about mine and Andrew's grandparents and family who lived, fought, and sometimes died in World War II. War is not just about battle. It's also about living - the everyday survival of those left behind. My grandparents lived in Liverpool, England, a city devastated by the Blitz. Andrew's grandmother joined the army, met and married a Canadian, and came to Canada as a war bride.

Today: Snippets of my grandparents.

One night during World War II, Eric Callister walked Daisy Lewis home through the streets of Liverpool when the night was disturbed by the sound of the air raid sirens. The nearest shelter was minutes away, but Eric and Daisy were young and the night to that point had been so beautiful. They took their chances, and Eric walked her home. The bomb fell, as so many did, one of them directly on the air raid shelter they turned their back on, decimating the air raid shelter and everyone in it. Eric and Daisy lived to see another day, marry and raise four children, one of them my father. An example of hope and optimism during wartime.

Walter Thomas Deane crawled across the dessert during the war, was captured, and spent years in a POW camp. He had two daughters, the younger of whom - my mother - was born just after the war ended and who grew up on the rubble and grime of post-war Liverpool. He survived many losses, but greatest of all perhaps to him, was the day in the 1980's when someone broke into his home and seeing nothing of real value, made off with all his war medals. An example of loss and desperation during peace.


Andrea said...

Thank you for these, Denise. Just this morning I was listening to an NPR piece about all the PTSD since the Iraq/Afghanistan wars started, and the expert on this (sorry I can't remember his position) said they are still helping veterans of WWII with this disorder.
War, bombs, deserts, valor, loss ...sometimes it seems like they will always be with us. At least someone involved in all that should be allowed to keep his medals.

Leanne Haines said...

Thanks Denise! Those personal stories are what mean the most on Remembrance Day.

See you TOMORROW!!!

Laura said...

The stories gave me shivers.