Friday, 18 February 2011

Sepia Saturday - Grandad

1917 - 2005

Here's my entry for Sepia Saturday and a much happier story this week.
Grandad was the best person I have ever known, he was funny, charming, kind, handsome and most importantly brave.
Alfred was born April 1917 in Salford Manchester, he was the third of seven children.
His Dad was American but they never returned to the states and he spent his whole childhood in Manchester.
Alf (as he was known) signed up at the outbreak of WW2, he trained in South Africa and then spent almost seven years in Burma. He never really talked about the war just a few tidbits here, I asked him once what he ate in the jungle, he replied monkeys tasted quite good roasted !! He caught malaria, got shot so close to his ear he remained deaf and was promoted and demoted more times than he could remember.  
Alf married Lily Hendry in 1941, on a visit home, which is when the above photos were taken. 
After the war Alf got a job at Esso and eventually took a job in London. One of the reasons for leaving Manchester, all his brothers, sisters, Mum and Dad had emigrated to Australia during the 50's, so there was no close family left.
After Lily died in 1988, Alf embarked on a tour of the world, he went both ways round the world, visited hundreds of different places, some quite dangerous! and came home with a different 'girlfriend' each time.
When my parents moved to France in 2000, he went with them and sadly he passed five years ago out there. We bought him home to rest with Gran.

a note about last Sepia Saturday
I didn't mean anything by posting the 'bad' stories, its just that's all the memories that were told to me. I certainly don't look at the photo and think evil woman, it takes all sorts and if she wasn't like she was then, then gran wouldn't have been who she was, mum wouldn't be who sh e is and I wouldn't be me and have four fab children :)


  1. My first reaction on seeing your photos was that Alf was having fun. It sounds as if he enjoyed his life.
    I knew a number of people who served in the Far East in WWII; like Alf none of them wanted to talk about their experiences - especially those captured by the Japanese.

  2. What a handsome guy. Great photos. They look so modern. Not from the 40s.

  3. He has something of the look of a film star about him. And what an adventurous life he led. That generation saw so many things : both good and bad. Thanks for sharing the story with us on Sepia Saturday.

  4. Great pictures. He must have been sprightly to attempt a tour of the world at 88!

  5. Thanks for sharing your grandfather's story, the photos are great. And how wonderful that he travelled so much in his retirement.

  6. Even though he was raised Mancunian, he sure has that American swagger about him!
    I am, of course, visualizing him in the film, "Bridge on the River Kwai".

    What a great collection of b&w shots to have. He sounds like he was quite a character!

  7. That is a super array of him at the top of the post--looks like a film star's film strip! I am sure he was quite the guy! Roasted monkey! Was he pulling your leg? Well it is an interesting post and how many people of his time and his home traveled as he did!

  8. He sure looks like a fun guy, even the picture brings him to life, to complete strangers

  9. what a great set of photos of a very remarkable man

  10. Oh wow what a great grand dad you surely had around...he must have kept things really quite interesting! Nicely done!

  11. It's good to see a series of pictures - you get a better idea of the whole...

  12. Alf Looks such a bright & Cheerful person.I bet he was fun to be around.I love the sequence -effect.
    A Man Of Motion!