My hero

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My hero

Post by modelman on Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:52 am

My hero,
he was born in 1919, to a middle class couple, his father was a manager of a 'gentleman's tailor'. 
A somewhat sickly child who missed a lot of schooling due to having asthma, even so, at the age of 20 was a 
sergeant-gunner in the British army, & was soon sent off to Burma for the war effort.
As soon as they arrived, they were 'chased' down to Singapore where all were captured by the Japanese.
Some poor souls stayed & worked building railways, my hero was shipped off to Japan, imprisoned & made 
to work in the coalmines, just perfect for a 20 yr old skinny asthma sufferer.
It wasn't long before a 'fortunate' accident resulted in him visiting the hospital for a rudimentary
'repair' to get him back down the mines.
He realised that more visits down the black-holes would be the finish of him, & health & safety didn't apply
for asthma sufferers,(no-one in fact)  so whilst laying there he hatched the plan.
The doctors daily assessment concluded him to be fit, GERRUP, GERRUP they shouted, but my hero didn't,
& pointing to his waist down, he indicated paralysis, the 'doctor' came back shortly with others & produced
a pin, he then started jabbing the soles of each foot. One hint of a flinch & it would have been over.
This procedure was carried out the the entire duration of the war, can you begin to imagine the utter
resolve required to endure that? Knowing that every day you HAD to just lay there & endure the pain.
One day, there was a loud rumble & the ground shook, no-one knew what it was, then it happened again, shortly
after, all the prison guards flung the gates open & started bowing & scraping to them & offering food, the war was 
over & the 2 bangs & rumblings were the atomic bombs going off. 
He spent so long on the bed, that when it was finally all over, he couldn't actually walk at all, he was shipped 
to the states on a stretcher, across the states on a stretcher, & back to the UK on the Queen Mary (troopship)
on a stretcher.
Once home, he had to learn to walk again.
An unbelievable clever, practical & inventive man, so much so that in the early 60's everyone was laughing at
his latest home-made gadget, he appeared to be hoovering the lawn, he'd cobbled-up a old broken hoover & adapted
it with blades & cowling & was cutting the grass with a 'floating' grass cutter, stupid idea that, that will never
catch on!!
All his working life was spent as an electrical engineer, mainly tv's radios & the like, & for a while had his 
own business in a small unit.
In the 50's, not many homes had mains sockets in the rooms, so the light-sockets were used via a fly-lead on 
a bulb adaptor, I can even remember the electric clothes-iron being used!!
As you may by now have guessed, my hero is my old dad, I as a kid my train-set was connected to the light
socket, & one day the train didn't work, when I told him, he promptly removed the 'plug' & stuck 2 fingers
on the 240v pins, 'OK there, plenty of juce'!! His bloody heart must be made of granite!!
Of course, next time it stopped working, numbnuts here, thought, 'ha, I know how to check it',
& did the 'finger' test, I can still feel the 50 cycle 'thump' as my shoulders tried to jump from 
their sockets!
So with the above info, it can be seen that he's a right tough old bird, 
Whilst in the TV game, & 8 track & VHS tape machines were in vogue, he often said 'I recon that all this data
could be digitised & somehow stored on a little chip'.      USB sticks & SD cards anyone??
Mum passed 9 years ago & he staunchly & independently carried on on his own.
A few months ago, he had a fall in the garden & lay there for 4 hours before a neighbour found him, the 
paramedics then couldn't move him for another 4, several more falls & hospital visits resulted in him
being admitted to a care-home, the girls there were absolutely fantastic, I've never seen such care & 
devotion as those ladies.
Then the inevitable, pneumonia, back in intensive care, then we were told to prepare for the worse, they 
put him in the 'end of life' room to die, we were told to expect to lose him in 1 to 3 days, well here 
we are, 10 days on, just had a call from the hospital to say he'd passed on at 0615 this morning.
I'm an 18 stone oaf, & have tears in my eyes, bye hero.
Hope you guys don't mind my post, I feel people should know about these forgotten heroes.

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Re: My hero

Post by Jaytee on Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:00 am

Wonderful story Modelman, sincerest condolences.

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Re: My hero

Post by Paulmold on Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:10 am

Condolences Modelman. That just brought back the memories of losing my parents. Dad was my hero as well, he was a D-Day  veteran who never spoke of his time in WWII. I got a speeding ticket driving to the hospital when my Dad went into hospital and I was on my way to the airport to pick up a customer when I got the call from hospital when Mom died. I had to ring a colleague to go to the airport instead as I just pulled in and cried . It's tough when they go.


Last edited by Paulmold on Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My hero

Post by Askit on Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:38 am

What a wonderful and fitting tribute to your father modelman, he was clearly a remarkable man.

My condolences to you and your family and may he rest in peace.

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Re: My hero

Post by boxerman on Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:06 am

I feel honoured that you told us this Lawrie - Thank you.
Don't try to stop the tears - they help.

VBR
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Re: My hero

Post by burlingtonboaby on Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:09 am

Our sincerest condolences Lawrie, I really feel for you at this time mate.
Lost my hero back in 2008, also a Japanese POW, tough as old boots my Dad, played Rugby in Hunslet Leeds before signing up for the RAF before the war.
Thinking of you both
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Re: My hero

Post by daisy mae on Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:24 am

My condolences as well, Lawrie, thank you for telling us, heroes should never ever be forgotten, without them where  would we all be. I feel for you.
My Grandfather was my hero, served in three wars, injured three times, still had shrapnel  in him when he died at ninety five. He was a dispatch rider, on horses not on motor bikes for a time,  He was going to write a book but never did, he never said much about the war, too terrible for him to speak off. saw babies bayonetted by the Japanese.

Thinking of you at this sad time.
Best regards,
Margaret
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Re: My hero

Post by Cymro on Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:10 pm

I'm sorry to hear of your loss, Modelman, but I'm sure that Forum members will feel glad, and honoured, that you shared your story with us. Please accept my condolences.
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Re: My hero

Post by peugeotboxer on Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:24 pm

Thank you.

PB
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Re: My hero

Post by willy eckerslike on Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:31 pm

Sincere condolences Modelman. My Dad came off the Dunkirk beaches. He only ever spoke about his experiences twice but not at length. After it was over he worked hard for the rest of his life to look after his family as did many others. We must never forget their sacrifices we have so much to be grateful to them for

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Re: My hero

Post by Bobskate on Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:02 pm

Your posting about your Dad was most interesting and often humbling. A wonderful heart felt testament to his life. My condolences.

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Re: My hero

Post by modelman on Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:07 am

Thanks everyone for the kind words, whilst I fully realise that all you & thousands of others have similar stories tell, I just HAD to speak up for these old-timers, no-one else will, they really are an end of an era.
I was a bit reluctant to post, as I thought I might be out of order, but seeing your words, I feel quite chuffed for him.

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Re: My hero

Post by burlingtonboaby on Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:40 am

My dad always said the world would have been a different place if it had have gone the other way.
I still have his medals, including his Burma star.
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Re: My hero

Post by meanchris on Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:33 am

What an amazing story Modelman.

I think that you're blessed to have had such a brave and inventive dad to pass his enthusiasm for life on to you.

All dads have the capacity to be their family's heroes, yours certainly made the best of his.

We salute him.

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Re: My hero

Post by Alf on Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:01 pm

Condolences Lawrie a bit of owd Barnsley grit gone now.
My Dad at war WW1  driving the motor cycle

Alf


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Re: My hero

Post by boxerman on Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:50 pm

Not wishing to sideline Modelman's thread, but what is the bike Alf?

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Re: My hero

Post by willy eckerslike on Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:24 pm

Don't know what the bike is but the bloke on the machine gun looks as though he means it !!

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Re: My hero

Post by Alf on Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:53 pm

willy eckerslike wrote:Don't know what the bike is but the bloke on the machine gun looks as though he means it !!
I never thought to ask dad who the chap was. He never talked about the war any thing he did say you had to drag it out of him.
You only think of those questions when they have gone.
I vaguely remember an incident with the Home Guard at the back end of the last war my mum filled in with the details after dad died.

He watched the local Home Guard platoon try assemble a Lewis gun across from our house for about 3/4 hour  he could not stand it any longer my mum said he went across and built it up in minutes he did this several times for them.

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Re: My hero

Post by modelman on Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:22 am

Alf wrote:
willy eckerslike wrote:Don't know what the bike is but the bloke on the machine gun looks as though he means it !!
I never thought to ask dad who the chap was. He never talked about the war any thing he did say you had to drag it out of him.
You only think of those questions when they have gone.
I vaguely remember an incident with the Home Guard at the back end of the last war my mum filled in with the details after dad died.

He watched the local Home Guard platoon try assemble a Lewis gun across from our house for about 3/4 hour  he could not stand it any longer my mum said he went across and built it up in minutes he did this several times for them.

Alf

I love those stories, on a similar vein, a friends dad, Wally,  also now gone, was visiting the war museum, Duxford & passed by a Merlin engine renovation, when he suddenly left the crowd, nipped under the rope-barrier, went to the engine, quickly removed a part & re-fitted it some other way/position.
People came running from no-where giving it the 'oi  oi ' treatment, they stopped, stared then started nodding to each other, turned & shook his hand!!  They told him that the particular part had been a problem for them & they couldn't work out how it fitted, Wally said that he used to build them & it drove him nuts to see it like that, another lovely, lovely old gent was Wally. 

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