I didn't meet my Grandad, but I know a lot about him. He was born in Birmingham in 1917, 5 years after the Titanic sank, and a year before World War 1 ended. He was born to parents who ran the Guildford Pub in Birmingham. He became a Fireman before he was asked to become a Royal Engineer in World War 2.
The war took him all over Europe and Africa including places like Oran (Dec 1942), Algiers (Dec 1942), Tunisia (May 1943), Porta Gusta (Jan 1944), Rome (July 1944), Rimini (Oct 1944), Ravena (March 1945), Venice (May & Aug 1945), Portschach in Austria (May & Nov 1945) and home for good in March 1946. We know all this because my Grandad wrote a diary about his adventures in the War. He liked being in the Royal Engineers because they built bridges before the main army got to the sites.
When Grandad came home, he worked for my Nan's Dad, Mr Reeves, who ran a jewellery business in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham and then ran his own Newsagents in Walsall, Birmingham.
I would really like to visit the places that my Grandad went to in the war, and I am sure he would like to come with me. He told my Mum lots of stories about his travels e.g. how Pompeii brought Romans to life, and how beautiful St Marks Square was in Venice. I would have loved to have met him and he would have really enjoyed to revisit those places with me. I am very proud of my Grandad.
When he was Austria he skied and we understand that he brought he skis' back and sold them for £16 which in those days was a lot of money. It sounds like he had a lot of fun. I also read that he swam in the Lido in Venice and was a keen cricketer.
I am lucky enough to have his medals from the war for his posts in Africa and Italy and I posted a picture which everyone can see.
I am so pleased that I have been able to post this memorial as I am really proud of my Grandad.