Telemark Hero
Tue Jul 07 2020 
Kentish Towns
tunbridge_wells  
tunbridge_wells
tunbridge wells town
tunbridge wells town
What did you do in the war Dad ?
What did you do in the war Dad ? was a question I could never ask him, because dad was killed in November 1942. I was not born until January 1942....
Dad 'Bill Bray' was from Lingfield and lived in 8 Stanhope cottages near the race course. He worked for Gordon Jenner a local haulier driving his furniture removal wagons. At some point he met my mum they got married living in 9 Mead road Edenbridge, where mum and later I was Born.
Pound Lane Edenbridge
She worked in the Vicarage and in later years at Edenhouse the school for young ladies at the bottom of Mill Hill.
As I was friendly with the daughter of the house I can remember playing on wet days in the Mill on a swing installed in the lower room. My grand parents both worked at Fairholme on the Hever road for the Souter family as cookhouse keeper and gardener. Grandad also tending the engines that charged the batteries that powered the DC system of lighting in the house. An odd coincidence considering my future occupation within the nuclear power industry and dads last task in life a mission to destroy a plant connected with nuclear power, must have been in the genes?.

As a child I knew very little about my fathers death apart from the fact he was buried in Norway. Neither was I the only child at school with only a mother to care for me, just after the war most families had lost a close relative. Mum worked hard to raise me on her own, some help came from SAFFA but mostly cooking at the school and scrubbing shop floors in the evenings. She managed to save enough to take a trip to to see his grave in the late fifties early sixties with Doris Jenner, Gordon Jenners daughter, a long time family friend. You may well have heard of her as she was in the news last year when the German UXB was found in Lingfield following some building work, being a resident when it fell during the war.
"I had made the trip to see dads grave in 1985 when a memorial stone was unveiled by Princess Astrid".
My first visit.....

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