Monday, June 9, 2014

What did you do in the War Grandad?

June 6 has come and gone and the sacrifices of D-Day have been rightfully recognized.  However June 9th is more important to me because of this:

The Mulberry Harbours set into place 70 years ago today.  Grandad and his brothers came from a long line of ship builders.  Working out of Harlan and Wolf in Belfast and Cammel-Lairds Liverpool, they worked on many fighting ships and merchant vessels.When grandad shifted to working on the Mulberries, it had follow on effects felt up to this day (it is in part why I am Canadian and not Kenyan). He also served as an ARP.

I should also mention Pop, my other grandfather who was a foreman at a gas works for the duration.  Important but not very exciting work until you realize that part of his job was to pull incendiaries out of gas storage tanks. He was in the Home Guard and stood watch over one of the first V1s to land without exploding.  A great aunt worked putting together fuzes until she asked to be moved because she was getting lonely working all by herself in a little shed far away from the rest of the plant.  It wasn't the danger you see, she just wanted to chat with the other girls.

And then there is my father in law, a Malta Gunner before the war, he did not take well to military life.  He spent much of the war as an electrician working on Hurricanes and Spitfires on airfields around Malta. To give you an idea of what that was like, the whole island was given the George Cross.

So today, I raise a toast in memory of those who  served at home in whatever capacity to ensure the fight was brought to the enemy.