Mum & Dad in the Services

Christmas letters #3

Charlie Barrow still in Sri Lanka in the first photograph (1948) but on the reverse of the photo a touch of his dry humour that seems to have passed on to his son.

The third and fourth photos remind me of the many military and diplomatic personnel who will be sending messages back home right now from far flung corners of the globe.

My Dad’s service was in the post-war era – austere but peaceful – and I contrast that with some of the dangers faced by those who serve now.

Rationing was in place and seeing my Dad’s ration book encourages me to be grateful for the food and drink I will enjoy in the coming days.

But perhaps most poignant of all of these glimpses of the past is a telegram sent on my Mum’s 21st birthday, all the way from ‘somewhere in the Med” to Fort William in Scotland, to wish her a happy 21st birthday.

My eldest daughter Rachel is 22 years old in a few days and my youngest Ellie is 20 on 18th January. I contrast their lives at University (and their many talents) with my Mum’s life, married to a distant serviceman and serving her country to the best of her ability in the ATS.

There is Norma Barrow in photo 5 – she is the third in from the left of the photo with that big smile (inherited by me) and even bigger hair!

Creag Mhor still stands and is now a popular guest house for those visiting the Ben Nevis area.

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