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Personal Journey

Discussion in 'Exhibition Lounge' started by EightBitTony, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    My father died when I was 4 (1975), my mum died in 2012 and my sister passed away in 2015.

    After my father died, my mother never spoke about him to us. My sister had more memories of him because she was six years older than me, but my memories were hazy, and a lack of conversation meant they faded over time. I found out after my mum died why she hadn't spoken about him much, it was because she was still heart broken. She missed him so much every day that she couldn't even bear to talk about him. I know this because of the words we found on his gravestone, which myself and my sister saw for the first time when we buried my mum.

    After my sister passed away I realised I'd lost all immediate connection with my past. My grandparents were all deceased, and although my mother had three sisters I'd moved away from them a long time ago, and wasn't really in touch with any of my cousins on a regular basis. Over the past few years, two more of the sisters have passed away, one very recently, leaving only a single sister remaining.

    There's really no one left who I can talk to about my dad, or in fact my mother's life when she was young. I know almost nothing about either.

    What I do have, is some photographs. Not many, and almost none of them are labelled or written on. But I do have some photos. I've been scanning an album today with Cyprus on the cover, made in Germany, and full of photographs of my dad, his army buddies, and some of my mum, maybe my sister, and other members of the family.

    A lot of them are people I don't know and will never find out who they are, mostly in the army. My dad was stationed in Cyprus for a while (it looks like my mum didn't go), and Germany (my mum lived there with him for a while). I have no idea who took these photos, where they all are, or what year any of them were. Most of them I guess are the 60's and 70's, but one is from the 50's and one has a car in it which looks to be 50's era as well.

    I've been meaning to scan these for a long time, but it's meant,

    a) removing the photographs carefully from the album, but inevitably losing some of the photo corners they're stuck in with at the same time
    b) spending a lot of time doing it

    b) is easy to solve now I'm in self isolation, and a) I realised I'm the only person left in the world who I can ask for permission, so I gave it to myself.

    Here's my mum,

    scan360_x800_hq.jpg

    And here's my dad.

    scan348_x800_hq.jpg
    They're photos they sent or gave to each other, while my dad was stationed away (because they're among the few to have something written on the back).

    I may post others as I process them.
     
    Dan S, Geren, daft_biker and 4 others like this.
  2. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    I love the way your Dad managed to look scruffy in uniform!
     
    EightBitTony likes this.
  3. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    He signed up at 18, some of the early shots in the album are terrifying, a bunch of kids with guns.
     
  4. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    What years was he in Cyprus? Which regiment? We were 60-63.
     
  5. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    I don't know :(

    It was before 1964 (because I have his postings from 64 onwards and they're either Germany, Bahrain or UK), and he signed up in 1955 (age 18). He was in the R.A.O.C. but I don't have a complete service record for him. Some of the shots of what I believe to be Cyprus must be from the late 50's because he looks very young, but there are others which could be Cyprus where he looks to be in his 20's, so it's entirely possible he was there in 60-63.

    I'm pretty sure that's him on camera left, and I'm pretty cure that's Cyprus (but I could be wrong on both counts).

    scan276_x800_hq.jpg

    I have every intention of processing all the pics and uploading them somewhere.
     
    Dan S likes this.
  6. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Hmm, just found his army number, and the government website where you can request service records. So, off I go.

    Edit: Except, looks like you need a death certificate, which I don't have. I'll keep looking.
     
  7. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Tony, we have a friend who is massively into military stuff. She collects uniforms and all types of things (apparently very well known in those communities) . She got details about my grandad for me. I believe she subscribes to sites that allows her to search for army records and such. If you like, PM me all of your dads details, name DOB etc and she maybe able to do it for you. Can't promise anything of course.

    Edit. Just seen your post before this one
     
    daft_biker likes this.
  8. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Well have PM'd them over anyway, no harm in trying multiple routes!
     
    daft_biker likes this.
  9. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Greté says I've definitely got his facial features, personally, I wish I had his six pack.
     
    daft_biker likes this.
  10. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Hi Tony,
    I did National Service from August 1957 to 1959, and served in the RAF - training in the UK for the first year, and in Germany for the second. Sadly over the last two decades the websites catering to our memories have gradually become fewer - not surprising really, as unless there's a forces oriented offspring, maintenance of a website for father's old cronies isn't that likely. In a few cases, websites which seemed "dead" seem to have been resurrected, but in my experience they're rare.
    OTOH "Official" websites seem to have become commoner and may be of some help, but when I tried the MoD site, it couldn't find "me" - despite my knowing my RAF service number.
    I'm attaching a link to my old unit, and my page of photos. http://www.baor-locations.org/RAFScharfoldendorf.aspx.html
    (Camera used: Contaflex with 45mm f/2.8 Tessar, film FP3 & Agfa CT18)
    I believe that we were the only RAF unit with a German motto, and this was granted by special permission.

    It's possible that the webmaster (via link on posted page) may have info of similar sites serving different areas of service.
    HTH
     
  11. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Thanks Malcolm.
     
  12. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Well as far as I can see, the RAOC were based in Dekhelia, which is as I would have expected. The Mad Hatter is a business registered in Cyprus, but no other details. It was registered in 1954 and still exists. One landmark he would have recognised is the BMH. You could see it from anywhere: https://www.qaranc.co.uk/photos/BMHDhekelia.jpg
     
  13. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Thanks Mike.

    I looked up the Mad Hatter when I found the pictures, but can't find much more on it, I will keep digging.
     
  14. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    RovingMike likes this.
  15. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    So two interesting ones, this looks like a landmark someone might recognise.

    [​IMG]From the 'Cyprus' Album by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    And this suggests he was in the Yorkshire Regiment or hung around guys who were?

    [​IMG]From the 'Cyprus' Album by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    Edit: Ah scratch that second one, that Regiment is reasonably new (2006), but have been one of the earlier Yorkshire based regiments.

    Also, have just noticed some of these shots could easily be Gibraltar as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
  16. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Right, so they're all uploaded. Album is here :

    https://flic.kr/s/aHsmM8GpcG

    Couple more shots which might give a clue to a location for some of them.

    [​IMG]From the 'Cyprus' Album by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    [​IMG]From the 'Cyprus' Album by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    [​IMG]From the 'Cyprus' Album by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    [​IMG]From the 'Cyprus' Album by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    [​IMG]From the 'Cyprus' Album by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    [​IMG]From the 'Cyprus' Album by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    [​IMG]From the 'Cyprus' Album by Tony Evans, on Flickr

    I'm about to start some reverse image google searches.
     
  17. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    [​IMG]

    That's Kyrenia.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
    EightBitTony likes this.
  18. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    [​IMG]

    Eastern end of Bellapais Abbey, above Kyrenia.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
    EightBitTony likes this.
  19. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    [​IMG]

    Kyrenia towards the castle. Possibly Hamdi St.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
    EightBitTony likes this.
  20. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Mike, you're a star, thank you. So definitely Cyprus, which cheers me up. Again, thanks Mike.
     
    Dan S likes this.

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