This is my dad. There is so much I could write about him that I can’t, of course, get it all in one post. So I’ll start at the beginning today. I’m writing this for my sons and their children because one day they will be interested enough to read it.
My dad was born Frederick Harry Mills in Luton, Bedfordshire, England in 1919. He lived most of his life in England, but in the 1960’s, after his divorce with my mum, he moved to Ireland for two years. After that he went to Australia, where he lived for sixteen years. I didn’t see my dad from when I was sixteen years old until I was thirty-two.
He returned from Australia to take care of his mother and his sister, who were both old and infirm. When he was 69 years old, he died of leukaemia in a London hospital.
After he died I cleared out his things, which were housed in boxes in my auntie’s garage. Amongst his belongings was a box of old tobacco pouches; some of his own and some of his father’s. I looked briefly through them and nearly missed the following treasure, which my father had never told me about.
What I found was a leather wallet, dating back to the 1700’s and containing a potted history of my father’s family. The history was written in ink on vellum and has survived to this day.
I consider myself extremely lucky to have this information and I find it hard to believe that my dad never discussed it with me.
Now I’ll let you read through the findings and I’ll come back to this in a later post.