Sunday, 4 March 2012

Storytelling Sunday

Exactly one month ago, my story for Storytelling Sunday was about making contact with the missing American branch of my family's tree.
This month, I thought I'd add some family stories about the great uncle who went to sea as a young man and settled in New York City.
1928: Great Uncle's 1st job was as a gardener's boy at Redcourt, a large house lived in by Miss X.  At some point he was off work ill and Miss X sent her chauffeur in the Daimler to deliver a goodwill parcel or some such.  The sight of a chauffeur driven car in XX Street, which was near the gas works, caused quite a stir. 
 
The Wartime Years: Great Uncle was on a ship which was involved in rescuing German sailors from the North Atlantic.  The crew gave them tea and cigarettes.  He later remarked that he may have behaved differently if he'd known about his brother X's death at that point.  X was killed in action in October 1943 in Italy.  At some point during the war {after the Americans had entered the war} Great Uncle managed to telephone via the pub on the corner of XX Street {The Borough} and said that he was in Norfolk, Virginia and coming in to Hull on a wing and a prayer.  The ship's cargo was TNT.  It appears that Great Uncle spent his war years crossing the Atlantic on the North Atlantic convoys, including the run up to Murmansk and Archangel in Russia.  
The Postwar Years: Great Uncle was extremely generous to his family back home.  He sent money to his mother.  He sent dresses for his nieces, my mum and Auntie.  He sent 78" records {Fats Waller} to his nephew.  He also sent his nephew a signet ring engraved with his initials for his 21st birthday.  He organised food parcels to come via Denmark ~ blocks of Kraft cheese, tins of ham and saltines; these were very welcome when most food items were still rationed.  He sent a black leather evening bag to his mother.  After her death it passed to her daughter, my Gran.  After Gran's death in 1999, it passed to my Auntie.
                                                   ~ My mum and Auntie in their American dresses ~
I added these stories, and others, to my tree on Ancestry, as I wanted our newly discovered relatives to know just how highly he was thought of by the family he left behind and that he is remembered still to this day as a loving, brave and courageous man. 
Pop on over to Sian's place for many stories worth discovering.
I'll be away from the PC for most of today, but I hope to visit all the other participants tonight or early next week.
Apologies if the formatting is off, Blogger is refusing to play ball.

25 comments:

Amy said...

I love that within the space of one month you already have so many stories to tell about this part of the Family Tree.

Take care, you are all in my thoughts.

Mary B said...

How absolutely wonderful to find all these photos and stories about your family

Alison said...

I'm so glad glad you have chosen to tell us a little more about this 'new' branch of you family
Alison xx

Kirsty.a said...

I do love family history. i think it should be taught in schools - give us all a bit more pride in where we come from

Miriam said...

How wonderful that you have discovered all this, the photo's are amazing.

heart.hearth.home. said...

I love your photographs and the story behind them, and how wonderful is the one of your mum and auntie in their American dresses.
Been thinking about you during this difficult time.

Sian said...

What wonderful family photographs you have! Truly a rich archive of pictures and stories and I have very much enjoyed my peep into your history this morning.

Thanks for joining in today when I am sure you mind is full of other things x

debs14 said...

Such fascinating stories. It's so lovely that you are noting them down for future generations.

Lynn said...

What wonderful stories and photos and great that you have written them down for you family to enjoy. True scrapbooking.

Ladkyis said...

Lovely memories, and it is so good to pass them on.
Hugs from us

Louise said...

how lovely that you have these photos to go with your story.

Becky said...

Wow, how great to have the photos and the stories to go with them.

Robyn said...

Love these photos, Ruth!

scrappyjacky said...

How great to have all these stories and photos to add to your family history.

furrypig said...

wow Ruth you have found out so much about your family history and the photos are fabulous

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Wonderful bunch of stories & I love the photos!

Sabrina S. said...

Wow! What a lovely story! I love that you're cherishing your family history that much.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Cheers from France

S said...

Thanks for sharing such wonderful stories - hearing about his journey over time really helps to complete the picture for us. Nicely told.

Ginger said...

Hello Ruth :) I have enjoyed reading your stories of your great uncle - fascinating really:) I am also sorry to read of your unfortunate news - take care.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

It's so interesting to read these stories about your great uncle, Ruth, and I can only imagine how much your family appreciates that you are preserving them! You inspire me to learn more about my ancestors!

Kristina said...

It's so odd to find out things about my grandfather that I never knew before. He sounds like he was such a caring man and I wish I'd met him. My father never talked much about his parents in general so it's nice to finally hear some new things. Thank you so much for sharing everything you know about my grandfather. Both my father and I appreciate it more than we can say.

Xo, Kristina

Gail said...

What treasures these stories of your Great Uncle are. So neat that you've put them up on Ancestry for the rest of the family to read.

Amy said...

It must be such a rewarding experience to discover all this history about your family. I look forward to seeing what you unearth for next month!

Jo said...

I really did enjoy reading about your uncle, it's great to have amazing family stories like that

Chipper said...

So many stories. He sounded like a wonderful man. I am glad you have written them down to share.