James (known as Jim or Jimmy) was my grandfather. He was born on 31st March 1921, which means that today is the anniversary of his 100th birthday (he passed away aged 84).
We try to avoid writing personal information about us here on Plague Island’s pages, but sometimes we will make exceptions when necessary. My grandfather is a necessary exception because I take great pride in saying he was an original anti-Fascist and is probably one of the biggest influences upon me. More broadly, he is an inspiration for us writing this blog.
He fought through the duration of WWII, from the age of 18, continuing as an Army Reservist into the late 1950s . Whilst towards the end of his life he questioned what the war had all been for, he went to war with honest and honourable intentions: to protect his family and his country from Nazism. Whenever he doubted himself, or the memories were too uncomfortable for him, I would remind him that he was a hero for doing what he did.
I learned some of the most valuable lessons about life from my grandfather: that life is about kindness, respect, looking after each other and doing the right thing. He also taught me that you have to stand up for what you know is right, and never, ever, back down from a bully.
Although he has been gone a while now, our writing is very much a part of his generation’s legacy. So, God bless you on what would have been your 100th birthday, Grandad.
You are still loved.
~ L 31.3.21 ~