A while back I wrote about my sadness that I only had one photo of my dad as a boy, and his face was turned away from the camera. Well, following on from my piece for the Guardian on my search for my brother and sister, someone came forward with my dad’s intake photo – taken on the day he joined the army.
He was only 14 and a half when this photo was taken – so young – and yet at that time, boys quickly became men; there was no time to be teenagers. Dad was already a dairy farm worker when he enlisted (he completed his education in the army). Apparently his nickname in the army was ‘Jammy’. The year was 1944 so I presume that he and the other boys in this photo must have been overwhelmed with an urge to do something for their country, even though they wouldn’t join the Men’s corps for another three years. But also, certainly in my dad’s case, it meant the chance for him to travel – he served in Egypt and Greece and Cyprus and places he never would have seen if he’d hadn’t enlisted. I’m so proud of him and it means so much to finally see him as a boy.
[…] wrote a feature about my dad for The Guardian, and that led to someone contacting me and sending me a photo of my dad as a boy soldier. I can’t tell you how much that photo means to me. And yet the closer I have got to putting […]
Good to hear. There may be more pleasant suprises ahead.
Really glad you have another memento of your Father. Imagine them being such a young age when this was taken. When you think of what most 14 year olds are like today, such a huge difference.
That must have been an emotional moment
That is fantastic! I bet you are so pleased! x