25th May 1945: HOME by quietpurplehaze

25th May 1945: HOME

"Up at 5.45 a.m. preparing for home going. Received pass etc & left camp in lorry at 9.15 a.m. Left Beaconsfield Station on special train at 10 a.m. & arrived at Marylebone about 10.35 a.m. Caught taxi to Bill's home in Plaistow ............."


And so, at 4.30 p.m. on this day seventy one years ago, my dad arrived home at last to his wife, May, in Paper Mill Lane, Claydon, near Ipswich, Suffolk.

They had married on 31st March 1941 and four months later, he had set sail in the Rangitiki, amongst 2,000 troops, for active service in WW2.

He continued to keep his diary until the end of June 1945 and recorded:
reunions with family and friends;
visits to the cinema
several treatments at the dentist
doing some gardening
looking after the dog
meeting up with his sister, Betty

What a strange transition it must have seemed!

p.s. After I had composed this, a memory popped into my mind of a wooden toy I had when I was little. It was a butterfly on a wheel with a long handle and when I pushed it along the butterfly's wings moved up and down. I remember my mother telling me it was made by a German prisoner of war.

It's been great to know that so many of my 365 friends have been interested enough to follow these extracts.

I find, looking back, that I've posted quite a few diary extracts during my four years on 365. Refs to just three of these:

http://365project.org/quietpurplehaze/just-another/2014-04-20

http://365project.org/quietpurplehaze/365/2014-08-02

http://365project.org/quietpurplehaze/365/2014-08-11

© The Second World War Experience Centre.
© IWM (5193) 1981.
A beautiful image of the apple blossom to match the home coming of your dad -- A wonderful story and a happy ending when the soldier comes home to the bosom of his family after being through so much in the war years ! Thanks for sharing extracts from his diaries with us Hazel ! fav
May 25th, 2016  
Lovely image and story.. interested to hear that your Dad was on the Rangitiki... it is a NZ ship.. I guess named after the river in the South Island..
May 25th, 2016  
Beautiful capture.
May 25th, 2016  
@julzmaioro

Julia, thanks, didn't know that about the Rangitiki.
May 25th, 2016  
What a gorgeous photo to share with the return of your Dad. quite a journey he has had over the last few years and you along with him now too.
May 25th, 2016  
Lovely capture of the buds. A very touching moment, thankful to reunite after four long years away.
May 25th, 2016  
Lovely image to end the diary entry narrative Hazel, I have found it very interesting, so nice to get a happy ending for your family, so many families did not, "Lest We Forget" (on a happier note its the 1940's weekend in Brighouse 28-29 May) hope to get some good photos the Spitfire and Hurricane will also do a flypast weather permitting :)
May 25th, 2016  
@pcoulson

Peter, thank you. Good luck for the photos! (The Spitfire, of course, was produced just down the road from us.)
May 25th, 2016  
Wonderful apple blossom, lovely shot...Fav
May 25th, 2016  
A beautiful capture for the end of the diary entries and a new beginning for your Dad catching up with all he has missed over the years in captivity .Thank you for sharing Hazel
May 25th, 2016  
The perfect photo to commemorate his arrival home. I've enjoyed this series so much, Hazel. Thanks again for sharing it.
May 25th, 2016  
bep
Wonderful apple blossom. Have enjoyed your Dad's diary.
Fav.
May 25th, 2016  
Very pretty shot!
May 25th, 2016  
I'll be with you in Apple Blossom Time by the Andrews Sisters recorded in 1941. It must have been going through your mums head when your dad came home! Thank you for sharing his war diaries with us Hazel, I'm sorry they have ended! Very illuminating especially us old enough to have fathers who went through the war too. Beautiful shot.
May 25th, 2016  
LOVE the pink on the apple Blossom!
May 25th, 2016  
Wonderful end to your Dad's story and a pretty capture to go along with it.
May 25th, 2016  
Delicate and pretty. Lovely capture
May 25th, 2016  
Wonderful history and capture, it is so informative of what happened before I was born.
May 25th, 2016  
Great shot, focus, pov
May 25th, 2016  
Gorgeous image, and such fascinating memories! How awesome that your dad made it home, and recorded these memories for future generations.

Throughout my life I've known several men (including my dad) who fought in the War (and one German woman who was imprisoned, and after the War moved to America), but none of them would talk about it much at all - and writing their experiences in a diary would have been out of the question.

Several years ago I also met a young Persian woman from Iraq ...She had been told all her life that WWII never actually happened, and that the concentration camps were a lie devised and spread by the Jews (!). She stared in disbelief when I told her that I knew people who had actually seen them and experienced the war.

Anyway, thank you for treasuring your dad's documents and sharing them with us!
May 25th, 2016  
Beautiful capture.
May 25th, 2016  
@beryl

Beryl, thank you for your interest in my dad's diaries and for the fav for today's photo. I'm glad I made the effort to do this.
May 25th, 2016  
Awesome
May 25th, 2016  
@dsp2

I read your comment with interest. My dad said he started his diary out of 'sheer boredom'. What came to me were 3 brown paper covered exercise books with the account of his wartime experiences and then after he died this last little daily diary was found. So I think he wrote day by day and then composed the story from them. I think it must have been helpful to write stuff down (I certainly find it so) but he did not speak much about his experiences afterwards. When he was 61 he gave an interview to the Imperial War Museum and was then able to speak about the unspeakable time he had after the bombing of Dresden: he and fellow PoWs were sent in to help clear up the devastation as their work camp at a cement factory was at Cossebaude a few miles away. That was probably the worst experience.
May 25th, 2016  
Awesome picture. Congratulations on making the Trending Page and the PP. Well deserved.
May 26th, 2016  
What a lovely shot. I enjoyed your dad's diary readings. My dad never spoke about his experiences in the war either and he never wrote anything down. All I know is, it must have been an awful time for those who served then. A lot was sacrificed for sure. Great read.
May 26th, 2016  
How wonderful to have these memories to read and take you back, what a wonderful keepsake.
Beautiful capture, love the lighting, focus and beautiful bokeh. Fav and follow!
May 29th, 2016  
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