Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Newspaper Revives Memories

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Newspaper Revives Memories

Article excerpt

AS well as writing this stuff, I read The Chronicle. Susan Hartland's piece on Monday, about the terrorism attack in Pakistan, was spot-on and compulsory reading.

Newspapers report the deadly serious alongside the relatively trivial.

I recently came across a reproduction of The Times Late London Edition, May 8, 1945, VE Day, the end of war in Europe.

This is seriously serious stuff, brilliantly reported. The Edition also records more comforting opportunities offered by a Miss Candy in those troubled days.

The Times front page then, and for many years, was an almost unreadable seven-column layout of Classifieds - Hatched, Matched and Dispatched, Personal, Shopping by Post, Public Appointments and so on.

Among the classified ads, my old university, Bristol, is advertising for a Research Pomologist with the salary greater for a man than a woman. I'd apply for it if I thought it was still available, if only to protest the gender inequity. If you're wondering, a pomologist is someone more interested in fruit trees than Poms.

Pages 2 and 3 give moving coverage of the rise and fall of the Third Reich, complete with evocative photographs of the blitz on London. It brings back memories of the many nights we spent huddled in air raid shelters.

As I've hinted before, people like me, born just soon enough to be alive during the war and just lucky enough still to be alive after it, remember these things almost as childhood games.

Being blessed with parents who transmitted no fear, despite the nightly bombing and their own appreciation of the danger all around, I marvel at the resilience of their generation. And I thank them for protecting us.

My dad, an auxiliary fireman in London at the time, planted rhubarb in the soil that covered our "dug-out" shelter.

This was to convince passing enemy airmen that they were over open country and not over a built-up area, as they suspected. …

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