Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Telling War Stories


Keeping the memory alive. ‘Tell me about your medals?’ I asked the elderly gentleman at the war memorial this morning.


Storyline -1


And tell me he did, but perhaps most telling of all, was the story of his coat


Coat tales -1

‘I always wear this coat when I wear my medals, it belonged to my friend, he served in Burma. I like to wear it, so I remember him.’  Time is passing and  the number of men and women who served in World War II and who are here to tell the tale, is dwindling.

It was at funeral of Mr Uphilldowndale’s aunt N that we heard she had worked during the war at RAF Medmenham, and that her work for the Central Interpretation Unit had been mentioned in dispatches.  We never knew, I’ve mentioned such modesty before

Gerry also has a story of exceptional bravery over on her blog, a story that almost went untold.

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

7 thoughts on “Telling War Stories

  1. The gentleman you met touches my heart. I understand what it is to wrap up in the coat of a dear friend, and remember. I followed all your links, and found new ones that I had missed before. And now, finally, I have read Fergal Keane’s Letter to Daniel. Thank you. And thank you, too, for linking people to Sonny’s story. I think he and Mr. Johnson would understand each other very well.

  2. We live in a time of relentless self-promotion and overinflated CVs and egos. To read your post and Gerry’s is a poignant reminder of a better way of being.

  3. A typical story but one that brings home what such people are, and were, like. xx

  4. “I like to wear it, so I remember him.” Heartbreaking and yet hopeful all at the same time. What a beautiful post. I’m grateful to have read this.

  5. This is how a fellrunning friend paid his respects.
    Great Gable is one of the Lake District peaks at just under 900 metres and is the scene for an annual remembrance service.

  6. Interesting to see the Defence Medal with the Africa Star. How did he come to be awarded both?
    It is possible, but I’m fascinated to hear the story of how it came to be.

  7. Pingback: Unknown Names | Uphilldowndale

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