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16 October 2014

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By John Jones
October 2006, Newport
A digital story from Capture Wales

"My first memory is of heat and different smells. My father was in the British army and we lived first in India and then in Burma when he was posted there. My father's work took him away a lot so my mother was the mainstay of the family for us six children, and we had a wonderful time playing wherever we wanted.

Then father came home and got hold of our gardener and a couple of servants to dig a large, deep hole by our garage. This became our air raid shelter.

During a hot, sunny day, we heard loud bangs and rapid shooting in the distance. I was excited. The chaps were attacking Rangoon. Father organised the family and told us we were to be evacuated to India while he stayed in Burma. What seemed to be a long time later when we were in Symlar, my mother received a War Office letter saying, father was either dead or missing in action.

One day we children were playing outside our army quarter when a tall, very thin soldier with an Australian type hat, no teeth, and military issued glasses, asked, excuse me, could you tell me where Mrs Jones lives? Frank, my older brother said, that's dad. As we ran in, mother was in the kitchen with her back to the soldier. He said, hello Ann. Without turning around mother said, Sam, I knew you would come back.

For her, my father's reappearance was a delight. But for me it meant the end of running wild and the beginning of discipline. "

Your comments

"I listen to the story again and again, moved deeply every time when the mother in the story was says "I knew you would come back" We can't imagine how much hopelessness and tears the woman experienced! As an ordinary mother of six children, she might be disturbed by many concrete problems such as diseases, poverty, education for children and so on. She needed her husband all the time. But the war divided them. I hate war." John from China.

"I enjoy the British humor at the end of the story!" Su-hsun from Taipei, Taiwan.

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