Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Sunday, 8 November 2015
I keep waking up in the night feeling desperately, tearfully lonely. I wonder what that is all about.
I have no reason to feel like that, as last night was really enjoyable, surrounded by the kids, eating, drinking, watching fireworks and having a really lovely time. Oh, wait a minute, there may be a clue in the 'drinking' bit.
Everyone sometimes gets into a state where negative emotions are just below the surface and rise just above during sleep, when the subconscious is let loose to do what it wants - or needs.
The funny thing is that usually - during the Remembrance Day laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph - I often find myself welling-up at the playing of of Nimrod by the military band, no matter how jaunty I had been feeling a minute before, but this year I was quite cold.
The above photos are of the wreckage of the Wellington Bomber crash in Kent, which my father survived as rear-gunner. Well, of course he survived it, otherwise I would not be here writing this now. I'm not that old.
A younger friend of mine whose grandfather was a pilot and later navigator/bomb-dropper in Bomber Command, showed me before and after photos of a raid in France which was carried out by him.
My friend had written to an air-base West of Leeds where he knew his grandfather was stationed, and asked if they knew anything about him. The first reply was a 'no', but then a different person who had - by sheer chance - been looking into the exploits of the same squadron, and had just found arial photos of a train station in France which had come under attack by his grandfather's planes.
The first photo shows a very large terminus, packed with transport wagons with all manner of tanks and armoured vehicles on them, then the next photo shows a completely destroyed station, peppered with 20 yard-wide craters and littered with smashed military hardware.
Even the road well to the North of the picture was virtually obliterated, though the larger craters show very accurate bombing indeed.
It is still quite dodgy to mention RAF Bomber Command in Germany amongst older people. The raids on Hamburg and Dresden were taken very personally.