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Was It Really Me!

Mr David Bowen

ISBN 10: 1499131062 / ISBN 13: 9781499131062
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
New Condition: Brand New Soft cover
From Revaluation Books (Exeter, United Kingdom)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Was It Really Me!

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Brand New

About this title


Being created by a war that slaughtered millions is an awkward fact to live with. Likewise a burden for my mother, assuming that she knew of it, that her début came as a result of her paternal grandfather, John Kirby Shrimpton Jr., being hauled before the Aylesbury magistrates in 1878 for creating a breach of the peace. He had made 'rough music' as it was called, the banging of pots, pans and whatever else to settle a score with an erring neighbour, or thought to be. And a fine job he made of it – he and his companions surrounded the culprit's house. He moved on after that. Sold up. Precarious our childhood, the odds set firmly against any particular one from coming into being at all. For me, born in the still retreating shadow of what we then knew as the 'Great War', there was already another approaching; assertive, aggressive. Yet none of this came as a bar to achievement. In America production lines, a better life-style, or considered to be. In our quickly growing suburb of Hendon, north London, the clean pointed brick of new apartments and shops; in Sevington Road the houses that my uncle Walter was building; a settled feeling, building property for those who were up in front. For children the family rules:- the 'Do as you are told', 'raise your cap', 'say thank-you', 'wash behind the ears'. Why that particular place was held to be so important I never discovered. There were always puzzles that needed a deeper trowel than any that father possessed; in particular the riddle of how our parents met. They didn't go overboard with gratuitous information; considered that it wasn't good for children to know too much while, all the time,the clue to the last-mentioned lay in father's hip pocket:- the photo that supported him while in the trenches of Marie seventeen, in the boots mack and floppy hat of the Womens Land Army which she had recently joined. Still living at home, she was lucky - allowed to work for her father, one time licensee in Maidenhead but, God be thanked for answering to prayers of his family, moved in 1914 into farming in Horley, Surrey. For my father, Edward Bowen, it was a similar destination, the work of the usual faceless official, for commencing his military training. Would he ever be so comfortable again where encampments for grave soldiers of a few weeks' standing formed a spur for action - the offer by the local populace of rest, food and meeting pretty girls? Even for exchanging vows? After that the long wait, the typical nightmarish existence when but a moment of a single day could bring terrible news but, for this particular pair, marriage in 1919. It was then that problems began; for mother a fear of the physical relationship, for father a steeper slope to climb than what he may have supposed from the mud, gas and shells of a foreign land. He wanted a son and was given one, not the bonus of a steadily expanding family. He bought little furniture. His mother in the next-but-one house gave us what we needed and said where every piece should go. Whatever the strains at the time, my memoir arises from the fact that what I cheerfully abandoned at the age of sixteen I craved to have back when past sixty - my growing up when daily life was a game of 'Snakes and Ladders' if with twice the number of snakes. Compensations? summer picnics and, best by far, our annual fortnight in a farm-worker's red-brick cottage in the Isle of Wight. We looked for hidden eggs in the garden, dug holes in the sand ready for a descent to Australia - or else via one of the ocean liners passing the sea-front at Cowes - and met Queen Mary; well, sort of. And I do mean the real one, not the ship. Give me a moment and I'll explain.

About the Author:

The author served in the Royal Navy and as a publishers' reader before turning to authorship and journalism . His 'Poems of North Cornwall' was published via Amazon last year. And now his latest book 'Was It Really Me' is mostly the childhood memoir of his life in North London between he wars and has taken him many years to complete.

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