Lest We Forget the Importance of Freedom

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This is my second Lest We Forget post. My first is a story, Careless Talk. Complete fiction but set in a true life setting. This post is far more personal. As you will find out.

If my Mum was alive it would be her birthday today. When she died I choose to keep a lot of her personal possessions. Things to do with her childhood and books that were important to her.

It took me quite a few years before I felt brave enough to look through them all. And today I am going to share a few bits with you.

My Gran, Stella and Grandad, Anthony, were quite privileged in some ways. Their story is an interesting one for sure. Here is a quote from the post about their life…

Stella loved fashion and dressed extravagantly when heading out on the town to the jazz clubs in London. That is where she met her future husband.

Anthony was the son of a south American consul who worked in the government. He lived with his dad and brother in one of the very posh squares in London and although he was a librarian he also had quite a large allowance or inheritance. (His mother had died young and tragically).

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During the second world war my Grandad was part of the Royal Fusiliers – London Regiment. I think he served as a lieutenant. My Mum was a young child so would have been evacuated. Luckily my Gran’s sister lived in Devon so they both moved there for the first part of the war. During that time my Mum wrote avidly to her Dad(my Grandad) and these are a small snippet of the things he sent her.

Lest We Forget

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My Grandad is sailing somewhere. He mentions the sea and asks if my Mum has been swimming in Devon.

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This one makes me smile as he mentions having received cakes and my Mum going on country walks with the school.

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The slideshow is my Grandad’s Christmas day menu in 1944. I am not sure I fancy the idea of boiled beef!

Above is his service book.

Freedom

The header image was a certificate awarded to my Mum in 1940.

I love the bit about freedom. I have been fortunate to have lived my life so far – free. This is one of the reasons I do not forget, and have respect for, those who have given their lives in the past. I don’t agree with war. But I am grateful for my freedom. I do wonder if my children, young adults, will enjoy as such freedom in their lives as I have been privileged to have in mine.

Here is a poem I wrote a few months ago about freedom.

Freedom for You, Freedom for Me

I wanna b free.
Free to create, free to debate.
Free to care, free to bear all.
Free to embrace and to feel moments of Grace.

I wanna b free.
Free to fuck, free to suck
Free to fear, free to drink beer.
Free to ask and to bask in the sunlight

I wanna b free
Free to choose, free to lose
Free to annoy, free to enjoy life
Free to live and give or take.

I wanna b free.
Free to explore, free to roar.
Free to speak, free to freak out.
Free to love and to rise above.

I wanna b free,
to simply be me.

My Grandad survived the war but died of cancer when I was a toddler so I never really knew him. But I did have a close relationship with my Gran and my Mum, for which I am very thankful.

lest we forget
Lest We Forget
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Giving Thanks for my Family

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13 thoughts on “Lest We Forget the Importance of Freedom

  1. These are such valuable memories, May, so special. I love that you still have his service book, and that Christmas menu, and even his handwriting. This post is just so special. Lest we forget!
    ~ Marie

  2. It’s so good you have all these artefacts May. I have a few postcards but not much else from those days. I enjoyed your poem. Freedom for You, Freedom for Me. It resonated with me like John Lennon’s Imagine. xx

  3. Sometimes it is easy to forget the reason we have enjoyed such freedom. But this quote sums it up for me: “I do wonder if my children, young adults, will enjoy as such freedom in their lives as I have been privileged to have in mine.” A solid reminder to remember those that have fallen in order that we should be free.

  4. This was so personal and I am grateful that you shared these snippets from the past. How amazing to have these sorts of memories to hold on to and it does make it all the more poignant. I only knew one of my grandparents and she wasn’t really the sort to share those things so I haven’t grown up with these same sorts of things being part of our family history. Thank you for sharing yours. Missy x

  5. A great post, May. In my post, I talk of essentially the same things. I’m aware of my freedom and how quickly it can be taken away. Let’s hope we won’t see that day.

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