On Saturday 11th of March 2017 at 1.30 am I recieved the phone call that I had been dreading from the hospital - my father Peter Lloyd had passed away at the age of 85yrs from cancer.
I was truley sorry that I was not there for him at the end, I had cared for him for 2 yrs continually and working full time 6 days aweek for 50 hours with no help from Social Services what-so-ever, so when he was finally taken into hospital on the Friday morning after taking a turn for the worst, I breathed a si...gh of relief - even though the ambulence team did not want to take him in - even though he could no longer talk, walk, hold anything in his hands, they did so because he did not have any careplan in place.
My guilt after breathing a sigh of relief, was feeling not being there at the end to say goodbye, but in all honesty I was so exhausted I could no longer stay by his side and so left at 8.30pm that night to catch some sleep after being up most of the previous night before and working 9 hours on the farm with livestock to tend to.
It was not until I was going through his things in his log cabin we had build in our back garden for him 5 yrs ago, searching for his papers, that I came across his Royal Air Force Notice Paper dated 1951. In it it described that although he was born in 1931 which I obviously knew, he joined the Army Cadets in July 1945 2nd Leicester Battalion when he was still just 13 yrs old, he did not turn 14 until Sept. He rose to the rank of Lance Corporal and left 1947.
Then he joined the Hampshire Reg in June 1948 to Feb '49 when he was sent to Korea and saw action. He always said he was a Bren gun carrier, but having seen an Bren gun last year I did not think much of it, until I saw the photos of my father, a small framed man, only 16yrs old running for his life across enemy fire where he once told me that he saw his best friend killed right next to him aged just 17yrs.
I had heard all about his RAF years working in the Tech Wing as an engineer, but truth to tell nothing except that of his former years.
In his tie draw pushed right at the back lay a small box. I cried when I saw what was in it - his veterans badge which he had never spoken of or shown to anyone before.
Now I wish I could wind the clock back and ask him about those years gone by, years I will never find the answers to.
For such a along time I have cared for him, cooked for him, cleaned for him, but the truth of the matter is, is that at the age of 85 my father passed away, carrying with him several lifetimes worth of memories which many will never know about, myself included.
When sorting his funeral out, I was told that he would be getting the Union Jack flag on his coffin from RAF Marham (my father worked on the iconic Spitfires for many years during the 50's), this brought forward such pride to me, to think that he will get a well deserved send off.
God bless you dad! Xxxx
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