Greetings to my blog friends from Wimborne, Dorset. Sitting here looking out at my friend’s English garden. Returning to my roots is always interesting and very emotional.
The purpose of this trip was to interview my 95 year old Uncle Bill. He is the oldest living prisoner of war from World War II. He also was the longest in captivity. He has received a lot of publicity from the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Great Escape and his trip to Poland to see Memorial to the 50 who were shot after their escape.
Uncle’s memory is great. 2001 when I took my friend David Palmer to meet him was the first time he ever spoke of the war and his experiences.
September 3 was the 70th anniversary of when England went to war. That was the day Uncle spoke for 45 minutes to the Wimborne Rotary Club. My dad was a founding member in 1950 and President in 1967-8. Everyone was very interested and impressed with his delivery. Can you believe at the end of the war they were paid their entire salary minus 50% income tax!!! That is a higher tax rate than if they had earned it. At that time there was no talk of post traumatic stress and 6 weeks later he had his next posting.
(At right: Wimborne-Minster church, one of the lovely local views of Wimborne, England.)