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My ‘Lost Childhood’ starts by exploring the lives of my parents and grandparents. My maternal grandmother was born illegitimate in a workhouse to a 15 year old girl in the 1850s. Mother and child suffered terrible deprivation and prejudice.
One of my aunts died aged just two months and an uncle was killed by a poison gas attack in the Belgium trenches in 1915.
In contrast, my father joined the army in 1913 and spent the next twenty years living the life of a Rajah in India.
I lived in North London throughout ‘The Blitz’ and on many occasions I was a witness to death and several times I came very close to being killed.
Despite seeing my neighbours being buried alive under their bombed houses and experiencing my family home being bombed, I survived six years of wartime terror which has haunted me ever since.
Although there was the ever-present threat of sudden death there was a great community spirit aided by my parents running a social club at the height of the bombing.
My father enjoyed organising fancy dress events. My mother was always worried that the social club would be bombed and that her husband’s body would be pulled from the wreckage with him dressed as a Hawaiian girl wearing a grass skirt, two saucepan lids and a length of twine for a bra and very little else!
Two years after the war ended the terrible winter of 1947 very nearly bought widespread famine to Britain with the expectation of over one million starved bodies needing to be stored in cinemas and churches.
However, all was not ‘doom and gloom’ as I recall visits to Camden Music Hall to see legendary entertainers of the 1940s and 1950s as well as being at racy parties organised by my parents for neighbours and friends which always got to the point that I was told “time to go to bed!” only to be kept awake by the raucous lewd laughter from the room below.
My father died of a heart attack in 1949 and this plunged my mother and me into a deep despair.
The worst possible outcome ensued when I was promptly locked up in an abusive boarding school run by Freemasons. The grotesque teachers beat pupils as young as eight with cricket bats, bullied them mercilessly for their physical deformities and even made them eat their own vomit.
In 1952 my mother and I were at the Farnborough Air Show when a supersonic aircraft exploded as it dived towards the public viewing area. Twenty-seven spectators were killed and sixty-seven seriously injured. My mother and I escaped by just being twenty metres from the nearest casualties.
I emerged from thirteen years of terror, abuse and also a lot of laughter in 1953 to start a new and happier life.
This enthralling story is available as a paperback - please click here.
My book is illustrated with over sixty photographs and as many links to websites.