Friday, 23 May 2008

Fortunes of war

One of many Red Cross 'letter forms' via which my mother kept up contact with family members in the German-occupied Channel Islands.

So glad to hear all well. Recovered from sad loss of our dear ones. We have adopted Ann. See Marsie daily. All love and thoughts.

Keeping exactly to her ration of twenty-five words, she sketches in as much as she can to reassure her aunt Clementine of the well-being of her niece (Ann) and sister (Marsie).

The 'sad loss' refers to the Exeter blitz of May 1942, during which my mother's home received a direct hit. Four members of the household were killed, including Clementine's sister Kath, as well as her niece and great-niece.

My mother and her first husband adopted Kath's daughter Ann.

For me, the enforced brevity of these messages, combined with the absence of specifics (see below), only serve to increase their poignancy.

4 comments:

brett jordan said...

wonderful stuff rory... makes me realise just how comfortable my life has been

Webrarian said...

Thanks for sharing this - I've never seen one, and wouldn't have known about the 25 words restriction if you hadn't said.

There was an eery sense on Thursday this week that Exeter had narrowly missed it's first Big Challenge since 1942.

The CPAS Church Leadership Blog said...
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Mr Gnome said...

Thank you, Webrarian.

As I was finishing the post I wondered if I should comment on this week's event - in the end decided not to, but am grateful for your reminder of how our vulnerability continues.