Growing up with Granny
Phyllis Grainger portrays her love and appreciation for her grandmother following tragic circumstances at the outbreak of the Second World War.
"Life for the Grainger family changed that day. It was the 3rd of September, 1939, when my mother, Rene, died and Britain went to war. Every able-bodied man was needed.
Albert, my father, asked his widowed mother, Kate Grainger, if she would come and care for us when he went away. My Granny had already raised 11 children of her own and lost one son, Elma, in the First World War. Yet, here she was, nearing eighty, at the outset of another war, with three more children to care for.
To me, the war seemed remote... far away, until the air raids. Life seemed safe and secure with Granny. Despite the blackouts, sweet rationing and my father's absence - thanks to Granny - it was an idyllic childhood.
All my memories are of sunny days, except for one.
In February 1946, only months after coming home from the war, my father died. I was ten. Granny, though tiny in stature, was a tower of strength and continued to care for us.
After big sister Jean left to get married, we moved to a new house down Ely racecourse. I was 13.
I remember sharing a bed there with my younger sister Dodo and sometimes lying awake listening as my Granny fervently prayed in an audible whisper from her bed on the other side of the bedroom.
'Dear Lord give me the strength to see these girls grow up'.
Her prayer was answered. She did. Granny's war was won."