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  • I wish I had known my father when he was young and happy in this photo.
    He is the guy holding another man on his shoulders.

    My father wrote this poem in 1977:

    The Umbrella
    I’m an old umbrella
    Now tattered and worn
    I’ve sheltered many people
    Been lost many times
    Can’t somebody mend me
    Don’t throw me away
    My ribs are outstretching for help
    My handle can still be held
    Won’t somebody shelter me?

    He was quiet and restrained; and expressed his feelings through humour

    During The London Blitz in he and my mother were bombed out of their home and, from that time on, lived in a series of temporary housing until they had saved enough money to own a house. Dad’s favourite older brother; a pilot in the English Air force, was declared missing, believed dead, after he had bailed out of his aircraft, to reduce the weight of the plane; so that other men could survive. Terence still expected him to turn up for years afterwards. He was his favourite brother and it was a life changing loss for him.

    The secrets that covered up the mysteries of the deaths of Terence’s other brother, father and sister were not revealed to me until my sister told me their stories when I was twelve.

    Dad’s brother William had jumped in front of an underground train killing himself instantly; and strangely, a few weeks later Terence’s father declared “William was right” and also jumped in front of a train. The family now realise that both father and son suffered from severe depression because they had diabetes.

    Daddy had to cope with these tragedies on his own, identifying the bodies and dealing with the investigations. He buried the memories in his head and never talked about them

    He also wrote this short autobiographic story:

    I was directed into industry by the government during the 1939 war; and spent years working as an electric Welder in the shipyards, repairing damaged ships at the Harland and Wolf dock yard in Woolwich. I felt as if I was in the front line of the war as ‘Doodle Bugs’ were shot down all around us as they approached London.

    I joined the Boiler Makers Society Union and became first shop steward and then President of the Enfield Branch and served on the London District Committee under Ted Hill, late to become Lord Hill.

    After the war, endeavouring to do some work which was not quite such hard labour; I decided to study Swedish massage under the SAME Institute. I studied hard and received my diploma. But at that time hospitals had not recognised Physiotherapy and I had to visit people privately with my infra-red ray lamp. I helped many people with my skill, but the effort did not pay enough to make a living. I was ahead of my time.

    I was offered work in the walking stick and umbrella industry, where I become buyer and general manager. After twenty years I decided this was not me and was offered a position in a small electronics factory manufacturing and I quickly rose from stores man to buyer and then manager. This post was very satisfying for me.

    After four years the owner died suddenly. And although the new owners would have retained my service I accepted a new position at 64 years old as a Central Heating rep and there again I worked up to thirteen hours a day.

    I am not a rich man in worldly goods but I am rich in things that matter like love. I have been married for thirty seven years to a loving wife; she has put up with me all that time.

    I have two children and five grandchildren who show me much love and many friends.
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