I am writing these memoirs for my three sons. I hope they read them one day and find them interesting.
In the picture are: on back row, my Nanna Ethel Mills and my Granddad Fred Mills.
On the front row, from left to right are my Uncle Bert, My Dad, also called Fred Mills like his father, aged about three and my Auntie Connie who is thirteen years older than my dad.
They are enjoying a day at the seaside, but I don’t know where the picture was taken.
I recently came upon some information about my Granddad Fred and would like to share it with you below. It is an entry on page 239 from the Journal of the Great War, 1914 – 1918.
‘MILLS, F., Gunner, Royal Garrison Artillery.
He joined in June 1916 and in the following year was sent to France. In this theatre of war he fought in many engagements, including the Battle of the Somme, and during his service overseas he was stationed at Etaples for some time. He was discharged in May 1918 on account of service and holds the General Service and Victory Medals.’
His address is given as 71 Salisbury Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, England.
Looking at the picture above, it is almost inconceivable to me that World War II ever took place. How could the world ever go down that route again?? My dad, so small and innocent in the picture, went on to fight the Germans in Holland, but that is another story and not for this post.
I remember my Granddad with great fondness. He was very kind. He smoked a pipe and as a child I loved to watch him filling his pipe and lighting it. In later years it was one of the few pleasure in life left to him because he suffered very badly from rheumatoid arthritis (the scourge of my family) and endured much pain for many years. Eventually he could no longer climb the steep stairs in his house to get to bed so a bed was made up for him in the front room at Salisbury Road.
On the day that he died my mother was visiting. He was lying on his bed when she arrived. He sat up, in his vest and raised his arms above his head, which was something he hadn’t done for years! ‘Look, I can move my arms’ he said with joy. Later that day, he died.