Dad’s fire station

My dad came from a family where being a pacifist was deemed right. His dad had been compelled to fight in World War One. It changed his whole outlook on life. He could not see how anyone benefited from that war at all. It doesn’t surprise me that one of few books which my Gran had was ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ – clearly an anti-war tale.

Dad took a job as a farm worker but suffered badly from hay fever and then he found a job as a fire fighter in the village of Turners Hill. This might well have been a place where stray bombs might have landed or maybe a place where bombers could shed their load – anything left, before returning back to their home. Turners Hill is to the south of London, between Crawley and East Grinstead.

And this was the fire station where Dad was based.

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Yes, it is still there and still a fire station. These are 21st century image taken 60 or so years after Dad was there.

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In the end Dad was compelled to join the army but his views were, to a degree, respected and he worked in this country, supervising prisoners of war. Some of these prisoners became family friends and remained so until people died. The Germans were not bad people although their leader was. German soldiers, made prisoner, were really just ordinary chaps who yearned to return to their families back home. They wanted a war no more than the British did. They were just caught up in it and didn’t know how not to be.

Some, it seemed, found friendship and respect from members of my family and I am proud of both mum and dad for that.

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