Emerald Pademelon Press LLC


I am deep in 1944, 2 months after D-Day, which was June 6. Summer 1944 changed the lives of my father and his 3 male cousins forever. His 4 female cousins all served abroad during 1944, but every one of them survived unscathed, came back to England, married well and lived happily and peacefully long lives.

The most permanent consequence of summer 1944 was not connected to D-Day, but was part of the push of British military north through Italy. Robert Dalzell Dillon Thomas, son of my grandmother's sister Rachel had been enchanted by Rome, and was on his way with his unit to Florence when a sniper's bullet stopped his heart beating forever on July 03, 1944.

By August 1944, British soldiers were moving through France towards Germany, and met with strong resistance from the Germany military. My father's brother, his only sibling, stopped 2 bullets in France, one traveled through his arm and left; the other took out a kidney, his ability to use his legs and his ability to control his body waste.

Rt Rev Maurice AP Wood landed on Juno Beach in Normandy during D-Day. After D-Day he kept moving through the Mediterranean and was awarded a DSC in Nov 1944. Maurice was a Commando chaplain with the Royal Navy. Decades later he acquired the Rt Rev title when he was consecrated a bishop in the Anglican Church, and moved into the castle belonging to the Diocese of Norwich. His mother Jane was the youngest sister of my grandmother Hannah.

During August, my father's only sibling lost the use of his legs and a kidney in France (Tony Dodgson), one of his 3 male cousins was killed in Italy (Robert Thomas) and my father became engaged to my mother. The third male cousin (Geoffrey Thomas) spent his life in perpetual and happy childhood, God bless Geoffrey.

The grandchildren of the former Agnes Doherty (later Mrs Dalzell Piper, and later Mrs Cambie) were these 5 young men, and 4 female cousins (Banks), were all involved in the war effort. I know one of the females was a physician (Dr Peggy Banks, later Mrs JHC Hart) who spent part of the war in India with her husband and baby, which encouraged my mother (Patience) to try to get out to India. But she was too late. After my parents married in January 1945, the war was winding down, and Patience had to wait patiently for Michael to return, which he did in 1946.

But 1944 was the year that the allies knew absolutely that they were going to win, but they had to do the work to win. Looking back over 70 years, all the hard work seems to have been over, and my father's family and mother's family had survived being bombed in London, Sheffield and the English south coast, being shipwrecked and gun battles. And then August 1944 came, and Robert died a Grenadier Guard in Abruzzo, and Tony was crippled in France.

Videos below from 1944, from all sorts of sources. Picture above, the physicians at a hospital, possibly the Paddington Hospital, London. Patience was the pretty one. Picture below, Grannie Cambie, who died on Victory in Europe Day in 1945.

Letter below, from Michael to Patience, Easter 1944.