“History may be written in the books of the famous – but it is created by the lives of everyday individuals”
THE STORY OF BILL
Our Darling Son Peter was born a month too early. He could not wait to get here. We christened him Peter, as that is the same in both Languages. And Ronald because his silly mother loved Ronny Ronaldo, the famous Whistler. And Bill was very, very proud to have a son, and such a lovely one at that. Everything was arranged for me to go, around April, to the Military Hospital in HAMBURG, about 150 Miles away. He would then be born in a British Hospital.
I had to be taken to this Hospital a month before the Baby was due to see that all was well. As it happened, it was not all well. The Baby was the wrong way round and they had to turn him round. Well, that was too much for the little fellow, he did not like being messed about, so he decided to come a few days after that procedure, into the World of ours. On the 17th March 1949, ten days before his Daddy’s birthday.
Bill was out at the Naafi that evening. I think there was something special on because he went seldom out on his own. It was a ‘Mens’ do. My Waters broke about 8 p.m. and I rang my Sister if this meant anything???
She said, certainly it did, the Baby was coming. Ring Bill to hurry home, ring the Doctor, and then go to bed —– I am on my way.
Bill was home so quick to break all records, arrived before the Doctor and was just one heap of Panic. The Doctor, when he came, rang a Hospital in the Town. Nobody could speak English so it was well that Bill was there and could speak German. Could he????? He had completely forgotten every word and I had to get up quickly. I was really calm and watched all about me panicking. I told the Person that we had an English Lady etc. etc, and I was told to tell her to stay calm, and tell the English Doctor to bring her in.
Right, on to the Stretcher I went, into the Ambulance, and off we went. Luckily not much Traffic in those Days so we could dash. And DASHING we did. Me feeling quite well and Bill in pure panic. When they carried me out of the Ambulance the first time it was the wrong Hospital. Bill, who knew the town like the back of his hand, did not know where it was, just terrified for wife and child. Back into the Ambulance, me directing the way from the Stretcher over the Shoulder of the Driver. Arrival at the lovely WILLEHARD HOSPITAL, staffed completely by Nuns. They were in Panic because they expected an English Lady who could not understand them. They were so lovely, and almost like children in their excitement of the Englaender, coming to their Hospital.
Our Darling was born at 10 past 5 the next afternoon and weighed 5lb 4 oz. They had to induce me at 8 a.m. in the morning because nothing had happened. I had no Pain, nothing, only the Water had all gone. When it did start, it started with a Vengeance and I was told that a dry birth was always worse, not to be put off for future Babies.
It was arranged that Bill would bring Rations in to the Hospital for this Wife as long as she was in this Hospital, ordered by the Officer in charge. They brought so much from the first Day on that the Nuns asked, very politely, if they may give some of it to a very poorly Patient, and their Mother Superior, as she was a very old Lady and weak. Of course, said Bill, you must do, and promptly brought more and more Rations every Day. Much to the delight, Giggle and Amusement of the Nuns. They would ask him, always at least two of them, if he could bring this or that. Bill listened and said ‘yes’ and then they would ask one another if she thought he had understood.
Bill thought this hilarious and had more fun than ever.
The first time he came to see the Baby on the Day he was born, straight after work the Nun brought the Baby covered by a Towel. And when she removed this Peter had in his clenched little fist a bunch of ‘bleeding Heart’ Flowers, to greet his Daddy. This was only after a few hours after the same Nun had asked me very firmly ‘Will he marry You?”
This had come about because they had noticed I had no Wedding Ring on my Finger of the right Hand. The Way this Ring is worn by married Women in Germany. I had Bill’s Photo on my Bedside Table, of course, and she nodded towards that as she asked the question. At my proud answer “but I am married Sister”, she was very, very happy and said she must go and tell her Sisters. They had all thought I was, once more, one of these silly German Girls who believe a Soldier anything!!!
Bill always was such a proud Father. We only had the one Child. First, because we had a future to build for this little one. We had already so indulged ourselves to have the first Baby we so longed for. That, we thought, we had married for, to be a Family. Then we had very, very hard years in England, leaving Germany with Peter when he was 7 months old in October 1949.
Leaving friends and relatives behind to start a new life in another country. Not something for the faint of heart. Will love conquer the conqueror?
That, as we say, is a story for another day. Another Post…
For myself, I hope that today’s post has, in some way, encouraged you – Dear Reader – to reflect on the life journeys you have and are undertaking.
As well as those undertaken by those who are near and dear to YOU.
You are who you are because of these journeys.
Where is YOUR journey taking you next, I wonder?
Oh, and by the way,
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