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War Baby

(29 Posts)
Seventimesfive Mon 21-Nov-11 20:51:34

My fathers recent death at the age of 93 has reawakened for me the difficulties that we had while I was growing up. I was born in 1943 and did not know my father until he returned home when I was three and I apparently said to my mother "Who is that man in bed with you?" He never spoke about the war and had had an all male upbringing, public school and then into the army. From an adult perspective I am sure that his early years and then war contributed to the difficulty he had in relating to a lively inquisitive and argumentative little girl. I have been unable to find any research or novels dealing with the return of fathers after the war. I recently saw Mike Leigh's new play "Grief" which is based in 1957 and it had all the tension and depression that I remember as a teenager.

Does anyone else have similar experiences which they would be able to share?


Seventimesfive Wed 07-Dec-11 16:36:30

To all of you who have responded to this thread, (which, incidentally I think should be in the relationships section, but I|don't know how to move it), I have just finished reading When Daddy Came Home, and it is so good to know that others had such similar experiences. It explains to me so much about the consequences of war for all, not just those in the services. It makes me feel that my difficult relationship with my father wasn't anyone's fault. Not his, given his background and personality, not mine because I was just a child, but almost an inevitable result of the circumstances in which we all found ourselves. It doesn't make the hurt any less, but it is beginning to help me make sense of it. I've also started to write about it. I've always wanted to write, but a big family and the need to support them has always been my excuse for not doing so. Maybe this is the right time, at the least to be able to leave it for my children to help them understand the background to their own upbringing. The next book on my list is Melvyn Bragg.

Mamie Wed 07-Dec-11 17:51:28

Glad you enjoyed the book - we bought it many years ago because we had both had families who had been torn apart by the war. OH and I are the post war children who had a much better relationship with our fathers than our siblings, but we both recognise how much they lost.

jaimsdesuja Tue 27-Dec-11 08:14:54

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