Christmas Day War Wedding In 1942.

  Big L 266 11:35 19 Nov 2010


As we head towards Christmas, and having being reading some Christmas threads already in here, I would like to talk about something deeply personal to me about my late Mum and Dad.

During the Second World War, my Mum and Dad got special permission to marry on Christmas Day in 1942 when he was on leave from serving in the Army, and when Mum returned back from Coventry where she worked in an office.They both managed to get back to north London where they lived.

My Dad was 22 and my Mum was 21 when they married and I believe the weather held off for them as did the London bombings by the Luftwaffe.I think Dad had a 48 hour pass after which he had to return to duty, and Mum went back to Coventry to continue her work there.

After the war had ended, they both took their wedding album on holiday to Sandown on the Isle of Wight on a visit in the 1950s. After showing the many people at the guest house their album, they left it in one of the seafront beach tents overnight.

Next day,the tent had been ransacked and the wedding album had been stolen. Given this was several years after the war, it wasn't possible to get further photographs reprinted and I have no idea why.

In recent years,and as I get older and more infirm,I tried unsuccessfully to locate either the photographer and business to no avail. I also tried the local island newspaper, radio stations and Police again to no avail.

It was a heartbreaking time for me doing this kind of research especially as Mum and Dad have passed away.In the end,I had to concede defeat and accept that I will never have a full wedding album of their photos.I did find telegrams, cards, even an order for Mums wedding dress, and of course their wedding licence but alas no photographic album.

There is only one small surviving picture. It was of my Mum in her wedding dress standing outside in the garden of her parents home in Edmonton.I have never found any others.I have no other living relatives now 68 years on who could possibly help.

They had a long and happy life together and they wrote frequently to each other during the remainder of the war. My Dad passed away in 1986 from a heart attack,and my Mum died in 2002 from medical neglect.

I thought I'd share this with you as we head towards Christmas so that we can all remember those we've loved and who are no longer with us except in memory.

Big L 266

  spuds 12:08 19 Nov 2010

These sort of events usually happen at times of urgency, and many people who got married in that era didn't even have the money or time for photographs or 'proper' weddings. Even the wedding rings might have been obtained from the local Woolies store, perhaps to be changed in better times.

On matter occasions now, I have often wondered about my 'extended' family, but when everyone was around I never gave it a thought to ask. Whether this was upbringing (you never asked)or perhaps non-concern at the time, I really do not know. What I do know, is that I wished I had been more inquisitive and perhaps hoarder of previous relics. Because some items can never be replaced.

  jakimo 12:33 19 Nov 2010

'Because some items can never be replaced.'

One rewarding way of rejuvenating the past,is to do what I did early this year,that was to gather all the old faded\torn\and dog-eared family photographs,some going back to the early 1900s,and with the aid of modern software,a scanner and a good home printer,these photographs were brought back to life,and can be enjoyed by future generations

  spuds 13:20 19 Nov 2010

The problem for me with that, is that I have many good and sound photographs and transparencies from the possible 1970's omwards but only a couple of photographs from earlier times or of distant family members.

A number of years ago, my late brother did get a local company to transfer many old photographs and films to dvd, but on his death no one thought about saving them, they have most likely ended up on a waste tip somewhere.

The problem is, you always seem to learn from mistakes, and usually when its to late.

Perhaps one point of interest. I attempted to do a family history, and from that I obtained a book that was mainly about my father and some of his exploits. The main thing was, that nobody knew this book was ever published or even existed. So we did obtain a few photocopies of that for future preservation.

  spuds 13:21 19 Nov 2010

Apologies to Big L for hijacking the thread.

  Big L 266 17:26 19 Nov 2010


spuds....No apology needed. Its good to expand the thread a little.

Like you,the few pictures found in my Mums effects have served me well.I found a letter from 1941 about the wedding dressmaker in Coventry,and also some pictures of my Dad who was shot in the arm whilst on service in the Middle East (I think).

There were also two professional pictures taken of Mum and Dad (and of my grandparents on my Mums side) and hand-coloured. They're in the same condition as they were 70 years ago.After Mum died,I kept the best of these pictures and made three large photograph albums of everyone.I was even suprised to find pictures of Mum as a child back in the 1920s in perfect condition.

The saddest picture I have is the one the newspapers used many times when they reported my late Mums death in the papers.It was taken a year or two before she died. I framed this quite deliberately from the rest and keep it nearby as a reminder what a lovely lady my Mum was. Living with her death from what was a preventable illness isn't easy even after all these years.

jakimo....I've often toyed with the idea of updating these often small 2"x2" pictures but many of the photographic software programmes look very complicated to me.On the one occassion I did expand a small print into something much larger,it lost all its definition and looked truly awful.I only have an old Lexmark scanner getting on for 6 years now,and I do use it for mainly documents but also for photocopying.I'm sure its not worthy of doing many of the pictures any justice. I would like to try though and put them on my Facebook page but I don't have the skills.

The world of photography software without a proper written instruction book wouldn't come easy for me....unless you know differently.

Big L 266

  BT 17:29 19 Nov 2010

My parents got married on Boxing Day in 1941 at Birmingham Register Office. They never had any photos at all.

  Forum Editor 17:54 19 Nov 2010

until 25th November please.

  rawprawn 17:54 19 Nov 2010

I have a total of 6 photographs of my childhood, all in Australia. My parents moved to a small cottage in 1982, and got rid of a lot of things including their albums.
My father had some tremendous photos, some of Donald Cambpell, some of the Japanese surrender when he served in the Pacific, and worst of all me as a child. All gone, we were bombed out in 1939 and lost many things, but I never understood why my parents threw out these wonderful albums to save space without asking if I would like them.
A great chunk of my life is missing.

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