Grandfather’s footsteps

In the good old days, when Hackney still had a proper swimming pool, I used to do lengths every morning with an old boy called Bob.

And, because I recognised him as a man of a particular generation, I used to prod him in the changing room afterwards to tell me his war stories.

But Bob only ever told me one and it was rather depressing. He’d served in Palestine and one day his convoy had been ambushed by Irgun or Stern gang terrorists. Among those terrorists he and his fellow soldiers had shot while defending themselves was a young pregnant woman. ‘They called us the Baby Killers, after that.’

What a terrible time to have been called up. There are your slightly older mates having all covered themselves in glory in the great heroic war to defeat the Nazi menace. And there you are, six months too late, dispatched to Palestine, there to be decapitated by wire strung across the road, or kidnapped and hanged, or blown up in the King David hotel by committed guerilla fighters who know every trick in the book because, damn it, it was your special forces who trained them. And when you get home, traumatised, no one wants to know, because though all you’ve done is your duty you’ve been tarred as pariahs. Even today, shockingly, there is no memorial in Britain to the servicemen who died there.

(to read more, click here)

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  4. In the swim

2 thoughts on “Grandfather’s footsteps”

  1. Chris P says:20th February 2011 at 6:36 pmWow is this like a longer version of the brain farts contained in your new book “365 ways to write drivel to prove you are an idiot to liberals”
  2. David Price says:21st February 2011 at 10:29 amWhat are you doing prodding old veterans in the change rooms? Shame on you sir!

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