Ancestors have been in my mind this week as I researched family history for a friend and also watched the D-Day anniversary celebrations. We owe so much to our ancestors. Not only did they make us who we are but they also helped us to win a war which in turn brought a different way of life for many people. In the 1920’s and 1930’s people who had little money could easily starve and be homeless as there was no social security available to help them out. Unemployment was extremely high and wages very low. After the war, things changed and the NHS was born, houses were built and people enjoyed a higher standard of living.
I am old enough to remember the latter part of the war, the bombs falling and the wail of the air raid siren. We did not have an Anderson shelter, my mother preferring to hide under the stairs with me. No wonder I get claustrophobic in enclosed spaces! I remember the way people worked together and shared resources and just how much my father grew in the garden. I remember the building of the prefabs, prefabricated bungalows to house those whose home had been lost in the war. There are some of these still standing.
But what of today? Are the changes that our ancestors fought for still with us today? Or are we going slowly back to the world of poverty, starvation and death? A book that I feel everyone should read is ‘Harry’s Last Stand’. As a veteran he has an insight into the world of today that our politicians do not have.
Here are my father and grandfather before the war that took so many lives, so many that it is hard to imagine but if you visit a war cemetery in France, the rows and rows of graves will make you see and feel just how many gave their lives so we could have a better world.