Author Topic: Brothers in Arms, pre and post 1945 War  (Read 3928 times)

Offline Keith Sherwood

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Brothers in Arms, pre and post 1945 War
« on: Monday 20 December 04 10:32 GMT (UK) »
Hi, Everyone,
I have recently made contact with a long-lost cousin of mine, a son of my father's only brother.  Over the internet he sent me a couple of pictures that I had not seen before that obviously his father had owned, and they are studio portraits taken before and after the 1939-1945 World War.  In the first, my father and uncle are young men of 17 years and 19 years respectively, already kitted out in military uniform; their eyes are laughing and carefree.  However, in the 1945 picture, although they are proudly wearing officer's uniform - one in a Scottish Highland regiment, the other in an English regiment I am not precisely sure of, their eyes are somehow darker, harder, and with a distant, faraway look, even though they were still relatively young.  My father had fought against the Japanese in a hard campaign in Burma, culminating in him being wounded at Kohima; my uncle had fought the whole way up Italy.
My grandmother Sherwood would obviously have been hugely relieved to have had both her sons survive such a war, but you can see from both photos what a toll it took.  Do other people have similar photographic evidence, and is it possible on this excellent list to exchange such evidence.  I am a complete novice still when it comes to exchanging files, etc., so perhaps I need to be taken in hand by one of those impressive multi-starred generals - sorry, moderators!- with which this site seems to abound.
Very best wishes,
Keith

Offline Amy K

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Re: Brothers in Arms, pre and post 1945 War
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 23 December 04 13:03 GMT (UK) »
What an interesting observation, Keith. It really brings it home that even the survivors of conflicts suffered much, much more than we will ever realise. Thanks for sharing.
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Offline Keith Sherwood

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Re: Brothers in Arms, pre and post 1945 War
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 23 December 04 23:21 GMT (UK) »
Hi, Amy,
Thanks for your comments - I thought this thread might just go by totally unanswered to the bottom of page 1, then plummet out of sight for good.  I wish I'd seen the before and after photos while my uncle and dad were still alive so I could have talked to them about the images.  But it always seems to work out like that - we end up asking questions of a photograph when the participants have long gone! I suppose clues to our ancestors in photos are more fascinating to guess at than simply asking living people to explain what was going on around THEM when the shutter clicked at that precise moment in time. 
The amateur detective side of family history is one of its addictive elements.
Keith


Offline Falkyrn

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Re: Brothers in Arms, pre and post 1945 War
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 23 December 04 23:58 GMT (UK) »
It is very likely that even if you did have the opportunity to speak to these men about their experiences they would dismiss their own actions as "just something that had to be done" if they spoke of them at all.
Amongst their peers they may have talked as they had all experienced similar events but anyone else (even family) is an outsider and unlikely to understand ...  although with your observation about their eyes you may have made a start along that path towards understanding them.