My memoir traces the many traumatic events I’ve dealt with, in socially changing times, from the mid-1950s onwards. I’ve fought the government’s solicitors because of inequality, survived a rare type of cancer and sepsis, and battled depression too. I’ve written about the emotions I’ve felt over several relationships; a cheating fiancé, a marriage on the rebound and an affair with a married lover. With little education, I tell of my quest to become a surveyor in later life. I’ve recently had to come to terms with the tragic deaths of both parents. Often when times were difficult, especially as a child, I found huge comfort in my stamp collection. Yet there are many lighter moments too!
I am fortunate to possess transcripts that describe my grandfather’s years as a dispatch rider during the Great War. He witnessed horrific sights at the battlefields on the Somme and experienced grief and heartache when a younger brother died in 1914, his older brother died at Ypres in 1915 and his mother died in 1917.
There are also intriguing links within my story to my 2nd great-grandfather who was the illegitimate son of a wealthy landowner and an agricultural labourer’s daughter. Born in 1854, he trained as a tailor and travelled to where the Industrial Revolution had taken hold and mills were springing up in the Midlands and Far North.
In addition, I have an amazing connection to my 14th great-grandfather who fought for King Henry VIII and who was knighted as a result.