Saturday, October 27, 2007


My paternal grandfather is 86 today. Eighty-six! I can't imagine being that old. I was wondering earlier whether there will ever be a generation lke his agin. He can still remember the doctor travelling arond his boyhood village on a horse and cart, and yet he's seen man walk on the moon, travel at the speed of sound and travel round the world in less than a day. He's also spent six years away from home fighting a bloody and difficult war in the marines.

When my granddad wanted to sign up, wanted to sign up, first of all he went to High Wycombe to join the Marines, they weren't recruiting in Wycombe that day, and the recruiting officer triued to talk him into the Gloucester Regiment. Graddad wasn't having any of that, so he rode his bike to Reading to sign up here...where he was greeted with the same recruitment officer, who this time, let him join the Marines. I love that story.

My grandad served most of the second half of the war on the Russian convoys, guarding the supply ships from U-Boats as they made their way up the atlantic. In the early part of the way, however, he spent some time in Italy, near his older brother. At one point in, i think 1943, they missed eachother in the same town by just a few hundred yards. My granddad being sent one way, when my Uncle Bill was in the other...I'm not such a fan of that story, although they both made it home from the war.

Harry James Goode is still going strong at eighty-six. Still in his garden every day, still walking miles a week. Still full of life despite the loss of his wife, brother, sister and many many close friends in the last decade. He belongs to a remarkable generation. He is a remarkable man.

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