Mack’s Craic.

15Nov10

Lest We Forget.

Who were you remembering on Remembrance Sunday? That was our theme this year on the BBC. As part of our Remembrance Day broadcast we each had to share on the radio a personal memory of someone we were thinking about. I narrowed it down to three.

There was my Grandad Mack. I was very young when he died but remember him as an old fashioned man who wore a waistcoat and would tell the time by producing a fob watch that seemed to be connected by a gold chain to his innards. He would give my sister and I a shilling each and in a thick old-fashioned Liverpudlian voice would say out of the corner of his mouth, “Here’s your wages”.

It’s hard to imagine him as a young man fighting in the trenches in the First World War. Not long before he died he confessed to my uncle Ronnie that when the Germans eventually came over the top, they had their arms in the air to surrender. The British officers knowing that they didn’t have enough food to feed prisoners, ordered them to open fire. He carried that shame for the rest of his life.

My Grandad Hughes fought in the Second World War and was part of the D-Day invasion. While he was on the beach at Normandy, my Nana Hughes gave birth to her seventh child, my uncle, Norman.

Then there was Nana. In between bringing up the six, going on seven children, she worked on the trams in Liverpool. That couldn’t have been easy in that hard sea port. It was an important job, Liverpool was the busiest port in Europe and with Cammell Laird shipyards across the Mersey, it was one of the Luftwaffe’s biggest targets. I can’t imagine how it must have been for a mum, working, bringing up children and dealing with air raids while their men were away fighting, not knowing if they’d ever see them again.

On the radio I decided to remember Nana just because she’s the grandparent I was closest to. Her sacrifices were tiny in comparison to what some families had to give up. What her story does is reminds us of the millions who did their bit and who are doing their bit every day, giving up the things we take for granted, so that we can take those things for granted, except for the second week in November every year when we remember.

Another Mack’s Factor next week.

Check out the Mack Nuggets at http://www.mackmedia.co.uk .

Graham

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