Today is Remembrance Sunday. As usual, I am thinking of my father. When young he suffered from tuberculosis and, therefore, his applications to join the armed forces in the Second World War were rejected. Determined to ‘do his bit’ for king and country he joined the fire service.
One morning on his way back to the fire station after the East End was cruelly bombed, a little old lady flagged down the fire engine he drove.
“Get yer ladders out,” she said pointing to the upper storey of her house, the front of which had been blown away. “Look lively. Me best ’at’s up there on top of me wardrobe, an’ Mister ‘itler ain’t going to ‘ave it.”
Father retrieved the hat. “No one,” Father said, after he told me the story, “thought we would lose the war, and that little old lady, who had lost nearly everything, represents the spirit of the times.”