- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Mrs Janet Gillett( nee Aiton), Mr Jim Aiton, Mrs Glad Aiton
- Location of story:
- Beckenham, Kent
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 02 September 2005
This story has been written onto the BBC People’s War site by CSV Storygatherer Louise Smith on behalf of Janet Gillett. The story has been added to the site with their permission and Janet Gillett fully understands the terms and conditions of the site.
This isn’t really a story, just a memory that my mother, Glad Aiton, told me when I was in my thirties.
My father, Jim Aiton, was one of the thousands of infantry men who served at the battle of Dunkirk. At that time the house my mother and I lived in backed onto the railway line that carried the returning troops to London. My mother told me that when she knew one of these trains was passing, she went into the garden to see if she could catch a glimpse of my father.
I can imagine the torment she suffered, seeing the battle-fatigued troops and not knowing if my father was among them or still on the beaches or worse, lying dead or injured somewhere.
I experienced some of these emotions because my husband served in the London Fire Brigade. He was present at the Moorgate crash at the beginning of his career and the King’s Cross fire at the end of his career.
For the record, my father survived the war and lived until 1977. My mother is still alive and is now 91, living in a rest home as she suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. My husband died in 1993. I was seven when the war ended.
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