Saturday, January 05, 2008

Still a Burma Star - Neville Jacobs

London, UK
A while ago, I posted two articles (see below) about my father. On Monday, he hits another milestone. He'll be 92 years young. (he was already old when I came along - of course!)
Whilst in conversation today with some members of the family, Dad recounted something which was attributed to the late, great American comedian, George Burns who once said "If I'd have known I was going to live this long, I would have taken more care of myself". A lesson for us all!

Dad looking the biz in the 1930's

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A Burma Star

Last month I mentioned that my father attended the annual lunch of his Burma Star Association in Margate. I highlighted one of great battles of that particular theatre of war - Kohima. That battle raged between April and June 1944. Some time ago, Charlie Hunt ( dad's war pal, now no longer with us) gave my father a picture taken soon after he end of hostilities at Kohima. I don't know about you but the "Aussie" style hat looks pretty cool. And as for those army boots - well what can I say!

My father has been staying with me for the past few days. It's been his first time in London since he contracted a very nasty leg ulcer in October 2004. Most people of his age may not have recovered from a hospital stay of nearly 13 months. It turned out he had contracted osteomyelitis and unfortunately, this has resulted in his right ankle joint becoming a bit unusable, to say the least. Despite this, he has battled on with his daily life in Westgate-on-Sea and I've been fortunate to have taken him to football on a few occasions and organised a brilliant birthday bash for him in January (see earlier post).

This week has been superb for him. Visits to various family members, a trip on the London Eye, spending some quality time with his grandchildren and, today, basking in 75 degrees of heat at Uncle Willies place in Walton-on-Thames on this, the warmest day so far this year. But, we are in England. This means that when excessive and unexpected heat occurs, London Underground doesn't work terribly well. One of these days we'll have a world class transport system. Of course, it won't happen in time for the 2012 Olympics which is being held on some industrial wasteland in East London.

Tomorrow (Friday) morning, I'll be driving him back home after a visit to the local surgery on Lyttleton Road. Every 3 days he needs a new dressing on his lower leg. People knock the NHS but I'm grateful that arrangements can be made for him quite easily when he's away from home.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Forgotten Battle, Forgotten War?

Yesterday my father attended a luncheon in Margate, organised by his local Burma Star Association. About 100 people turned up, some with partners and as every year now passes, fewer and fewer attend these types of functions. "Burma?", I hear you say. Most WW2 recollections are to do with the Battle of Britain, El-Alamein or how the Americans dominated proceedings at Normandy in 1944. The "forgotten" Far East conflict rarely gets a mention. Everthing seems to centre around Hiroshima and the privations of the Japanese people.......... and apart from that bridge over the River Kwai, I can't think of a film or recent documentary about the events at Kohima between April and June, 1944. This terrible battle (some of it played out over tennis courts) was remembered once again yesterday. Those who witnessed the carnage, like my father, were asked to remain seated. Dad told me that this bought a tear to his eye, as most around him, stood. Our generation, and those who are to follow, really ought to reflect on how some of our relatives fought so bravely to give us our "tomorrow's"

The photo above shows my father at his recent 80th, or was it 90th Birthday celebrations. My neice Emma is sitting next to my father. On the other side are my friends Sharon (Shaz) and Paul who came for the trip to Sandwich on January 7th.

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