My father, Frank Oliver Turner born 7th June 1893, joined the army as a young single man in his early 20’s, he spent many years serving for King and Country. I never thought about asking what it was like or how he got the scar on the side of his neck, he in turn never spoke of the war and sadly died when I was 13.
Years past, I started to think more about all the young men who fought to save us from a powerful tyrant, I started to listen to other stories about the 2 wars from friends and TV broadcasts.
I realised my own father was one of those soldiers.
Trying to piece his life together in the army was not easy, nothing was left, no medals, no paperwork. Here is what I found out with a small amount of research.
He was a rear gunner, fighting the Germans on the ground, trudging through many miles of cold muddy vast land area and was shot; that’s the scar, he was very lucky and survived. I don’t know the extent of his wound but he didn’t give up, he got over that and stayed in the army going to Malaysia and France during the war, I believe it was for the peace core, where he fell ill with malaria twice but he carried on till the end.
Returning to normal life he met my mother, who was widowed with 5 very small children, she was a cleaner (no social security in those days). Eventually they married, he took the children on, they were a unit, a family that he loved dearly.
In 1939 the Second World War broke out, he was too old to sign up, but he kept his uniform hanging with pride in a cupboard. Living in London all 5 children were evacuated, and mother and father worked in Woolwich Arsenal, doing their bit for the War.
Sometime in 1945 the children came home, life continued on and 3 years later a ray of sunshine, my mother was pregnant again. She was 45 years old and by then my father was 55, I was born March one Sunday in 1948, the only child he would have biologically.
He was a kind, gentle, well set, hardworking man and a wonderful father to us all …
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