Willie -Installment 4 (to date)

This is a tough, most difficult account to write. I’m going to start to work in the opposite direction and see if that works.
Click on any image to enlarge.
Bill, my father, is currently 94 years old. He’s very frail and has great difficulty with his memory. He lived alone after Nancy died in 2000, but  3 years later it became obvious that he wasn’t coping too well. His memory was unreliable and, in 2004 he had a minor stroke that really meant that he wasn’t able to stay in the family home. After a short stay with my sister Anita, he moved into the Residential home where he now lives.

What happened after the Second World War?  He successfully picked up his employment with the textile Company in his (and Harry’s) home town of Ilkeston. He continued with his membership of the Church Choir and became a respected member of the community.

He was successful in his employment, moving up in the company  to become their main  salesman, selling bedding to department stores in the midlands and North of England. In the early sixties, he became an independent salesman, acting as an agent for several textile companies, earning a very good living.  

He has always been a keen fly fisherman, making regular fishing trips to salmon rivers. In the sixties, he bought a share in a fishing syndicate owning the rights to  a stretch of the river Ecclesbourne, a beautiful trout stream in Derbyshire. I have been fortunate to have taken over his share and now enjoy the fishing whenever I am able. Bill was also keen on rough shooting. For many years he was member of  a syndicate that had the game shooting rights over an area of Nottinghamshire, in the vale of Belvoir.  I once remember him saying to me  that he loved walking over the countryside but he really didn’t enjoy the killing of game. He then sold his gun and that was that.

The fishing didn’t stop until he was really too unwell.  Bill made regular visits to his beloved Ecclesbourne right up to 2006. He was  a long-term member of the Rotary club and was made a Paul Harris Fellow for his efforts with that organisation..

I have an account written by Bill about himself. I’ll attach a scan. I believe it was written when he was asked to speak at the funeral of one of his fellow choir stalwarts. I’m not sure how it was used or even if that’s correct, but it’s a valuable insight into the man.

W. Lamin- Married to Nancy. Has two children, 5 grandchildren ( + 4 great grandchildren)

Member of St Mary’s choir for 71 years (still singing). Boy chorister, contemporary of Ernest Lough, soloist of “Hear my Prayer” and many other solos. Rejoined after voice changed and has always lived in Ilkeston

Sang alto then tenor, for many years tenor soloist.

Acting unpaid choirmaster for 8 years, 6 years with 4 volunteer organists.

Rotarian Chas Norman recruited him as unpaid trainer for Gladstone Youth Club, and he finished up as chairman of the club for a number of years. The club was one of the most successful in the area, both in games and voluntary service.

Hobby. Many years dedicated fly fisherman – mainly trout, and occasionally salmon. Compulsive gardener and likes experimenting with cuttings.

He has been a very private person. I suspect some of that is a legacy of his father’s ways. (Just as I, in turn, still have some legacy of Harry’s experiences. It is quite frightening.)

My father has always been an honourable man. I treasure his honesty and integrity, too rare in today’s world.


Heather van Vonderen said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have looked forward to each posting.

Very best to you and your family,


Anonymous said...

Thankyou for sharing, a man of integrity, you were very lucky to have him

Linda H-F said...

Bill, it's been an honor to get to know your grandfather and your father.

You are blessed to have had both of them.... and WE are blessed to share their stories and get insights into your heart. I can only guess how hard this entry has been to write... but hope it isn't the last.

Please consider continuing this blog in some way - do you have any idea of what happened with some of Harry's comrades? Perhaps your grandfather shared thoughts on world or British events after the war? Just a thought....

Gratefully, Linda H-F near San Francisco, California, USA

Rocco said...

I've been silent but still guarding the blog!
I realize the end is inevitable but I think the last installment should be you: your childhood, school, Sundhurst, your job as engineer and teacher, not private facts, of course, but your life as a consequence of THOSE parents and ancestors.
I launch an idea: put a date for next summer for a meeting of the blog followers at Asiago. It sounds difficult but great!

Rocco & Fulvia, Verena, Margherita and Federico (we all remember you)


Anonymous said...

Bill, I check nearly every day and was so happy to see Installment 4 posted. I can almost hear/see you crying as you type your words. I remember my father in the same way so I think I can relate. Please let me know if you ever make it to Chicago...dinner is on me. Rich Traub

Janell said...

We will never be able to thank you adequately for the time, effort and love you put into telling your grandfather's story through the many letters saved by Jack and Kate; but perhaps knowing that we have awaited every letter with great anticipation tells you something about how appreciative we are. I suspect most of us actually learned more than we had ever known about this truly mystifying war, thanks to Harry; I know I was prompted to delve into it's cause and effect. Ironically, according to news reports, WWI was officially over just one week ago, when Germany paid it's last reparation payment to France, 92 years after the end of the conflict.

My husband, an avid fly fisherman himself, felt an immediate comradeship with your father and was fascinated with his Hardy fishing rod. You are welcome in the flyfishing streams of Idaho. Bring your father's rod and we can take you to Silver Creek, a wonderful Trout fishing stream near Sun Valley.
Boise, Idaho, USA

Kitten said...

Thanks Dad!

That is all I have to say, just good to be able to know about the family's history, honestly and completely....I agree with the comment from Rocco - tell the readers about Sandhurts and Wellbeck! About George and all your other interesting friends!!