Friday, 21 February 2014


A lovely portrait of my grandfather and his family. Herbert (grandfather) is the second from the left and I can remember all the aunts as they lived close to each other in Hampshire.  My uncle Walter  who I met on one of his visits ended up living in South Africa and also shared my birthday but the other uncle Stanley went to Australia and was later killed fighting in WW1. Don't my greatgrandparents look jolly with her smile and his big bushy moustache!
After WW2 my mother felt the need to go and help the post-war reparations in Poland and early in 1946 she got herself a job in Warsaw.  These early photos show some of the devastating damage done to the city and there are many more in the album showing the great efforts made by the US and European community to get the country back on it's feet.
Mum's job was as secretary to General Drury in the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Association Mission to Poland. They found ways to get people back to work on the land as well as helping to rebuild the city and infrastructure. There's more info on Wikipedia if you're interested in having a look. I was fascinated and spent an hour or 2 looking at what amazing things my Mum was involved in.
Of course it wasn't all work and it looks like she had plenty of playtime too!
 Mum shared an apartment with a couple of other girls and these pictures show them celebrating at Christmas.
Mum's best friend was called Lois, who was American and they kept in touch throughout their lives.  At some stage they went to Denmark and Sweden for a holiday together and visited Copenhagen and Stockholm where these photos were taken.
I think mum was very attracted by Sweden because when she finished working in Warsaw she took a new job in Norrkoping in Sweden working for Goodyear the tyre company.
I can't help wondering if the travel bug passes through the generations as Mum moved away from home and her brothers all ended up living on different continents: Walter in Australia, John in Canada, Michael in Africa and Peter in England.  My own daughter set off at 21 with a backpack to travel the world and then spent several years working in Hong Kong before coming back home to settle down.