Mum, Grandad and Joey

This is a bit of family history which, alas, is long gone, but not forgotten.

In this picture, my mum looks quite young which, indeed, she was for she was born in 1924 and the photo dates from 1953 so she would still have been in her 20s.

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It is clearly a summer photo. My mum has a summer dress on, with very short sleeves. She is kneeling on the ground with her dad, my grandad.

I have to say, I look at the photo and think, ‘he looks old’.

But he wasn’t. He was born in 1899 so he was 53, much younger than I am now.

But Grandad had had a hard life. He joined the First World War long before his 18th birthday and was captured and held prisoner for the duration. His first wife, my gran, died with four young children (my mum was second oldest). He struggled to keep the family together and it might be fair to say was not wholly successful – but I’d attach no blame to him, and much more blame to a system which offered no help or support in the circumstances.

One decision he made was to re-marry in haste. I’ll leave the second part of that little saying unsaid. Grandad needed a substitute mum for his children and he got one. Sadly she never really knew what a mother should be like. Life was not easy for him or the children.

As a widow, he had used drink for solace. The second wife probably stopped that. But she was at one with him in being a heavy smoker. And it is probably that which really makes him look old.

Grandad’s summer look goes as far as sleeves rolled up and the absence of a collar on his shirt.

The dog in the picture was called Joey and he was Grandad’s joy. I never liked him. I was always a tad scared. But I do recall that Joey doted on grandad and he doted on the dog.

All are gone. Joey must have gone first and I can’t remember when, but I don’t recall any other dog after Joey.

My mum died in 1967, aged just 43. Grandad died the following year in 1968.

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2 Responses to “Mum, Grandad and Joey”

  1. chmjr2 Says:

    A good family history in that photograph. Enjoyed reading.

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