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Older people dont talk about it

Article about: i was at the market two sundays ago and i bought a ww2 book. as i was walking out i stoped to get some veg from a stall. a old man was standing next to me he said do you like do read this st

  1. #11


    Hi Nuno my wife's family is Dutch and and her mom and Dad and siblings grew up in occupied Holland in and around Nijmegen on her mothers side and Leeuwarden Friesland on her fathers side of the family with the exception of my wife's one Aunt Merrita the subject of the war and the occupation is never brought up I believe the memories to be to pain full.
    I was lucky enough to be able to sit with my wife's Aunt on quite a few occasions and listen to stories of what life was like for there family while they were living in Nijmegan apparently as kids and young teens they were sent there to live with an uncle during the later part of the war as her parents thought they would be safe there.

    Regards Mark K

  2. #12


    The parents of my wife only recently told me they lutted a place the Germans used as a depot during the war, in Lier (teyre home town).
    It happend just after the occupying forces left and order was not restored.
    They know my intrest for that stuff and story's for 20 years, but they always felt it as a wrong-doing.
    And when I asked what they took, they told me:.... a chair, ....a table, ....pots to cook,.....they had to step over helmets and other militaria left behind, but that wasn't what they were after.
    They never spoke about it and they will never do again.And that is not because I blame them for not taking the militaria!!!! (lol!!!)
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!

  3. #13


    I'd agree, some people just find it easier to just forget the whole thing, Although last year I met a really nice old timer sometimes on the way home from school, he lived near to me so I'd talk to him sometimes. I can't remember a lot of what he said but I knew he was obviously in the Paras, and he told me that he carried his mate for 2 days until he ran into the rest of his unit, I can remember asking if he got a VC for it and he laughed for the rest of the walk home. He was always wearing his Denison smock when It rained and I can remember he sometimes used to use his p37 Small pack as a satchel, which he out of the blue gave to me as I guess he saw I showed an Intrest in that kind of thing. I moved away and never saw him again. I still actually use it as a school bag funnily enough. I guess some veterans or people who lived through things like that just have different ways to deal with it

  4. #14


    As Ben says: On a serious note I dont taik much about my time in the service, maybe only with other ex servicemen, there seems to be a common bond there.

    Seems to be. Same with me. Others would not understand a damned thing of what I was talking about. Especially not when one has not served in that country!
    "Wir sollen auch unser Leben für die Brüder lassen" (1.Joh.3.16):
    zum Gedächtnis Wilhelm Schenk. Er starb fürs Vaterland am 13. Juni 1916

  5. #15


    Hi, im very surprised that all of you replyed to this thread.
    Thank you guys.

    Its always a shame when someone does not want to share its youth stories.
    But i understand and in this case, i backed off right away.

    I really hoped that he would want to talk but that was not the case.

  6. #16


    Wait for him to make the next move! It might happen very soon....
    Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!

  7. #17


    its the same in any service,all will swop war stories with each other but very rare to outsideders.

    - - Updated - -

    fat finger

  8. #18


    I remember growing up in Germany when the subject of WWII was pretty much still would have been considered very bad form to ask one of my grandmother's friends what they did during the war...They certainly didn't brag or tell stories as freely as US veterans tend to do...and they certainly didn't hang on to many souvenirs...
    cheers, Glenn

  9. #19


    I can remember about 30 years ago when I was teaching in a very small country town. The History class I was teaching, was looking at Australians at War. A number of the students had either their fathers or grandfathers involved in either WW2 or Vietnam. I asked one gentleman from the Vietnam War/Conflict to give a talk to the class. He was more than happy to do so and very informative it was!

    However, I asked another who was involved in the Z Special Unit and the Occupation of Japan. I actually got along with him very well until I asked if he would present to the class. He wasn't rude, but was very short with me and after that we seemed to drift apart.

    One has to respect the feelings of others.


  10. #20


    When I was a young fella I had a job mowing lawns and one day we were mowing a retirement village and one pass with the mower past a small ground floor balcony had this old guy watching me which I ignored. The next pass with the mower and he was there again this time with a small display case of medals. Of course I switched the mower off instantly while he launched into a series of quick tales of how he came to be awarded these items. He was Merchant Navy and I can't recall the details (it was 1989) but I guess they were long service or victory medals. One story I do recall was he claimed his ship was anchored off shore as part of the Dunkirk evacuation and a German tank appeared and commenced shelling the ship with its (probably 50 or 37mm) gun and the ship had to sit there and take the punishment and if I recall correctly the crew got some kind of bravery award for that.

    It struck me how lonely the old boy must have been to immediately launch into his life story (or highlight of his life story) to a complete stranger. Unfortunately I had a job to do and could only spare him 5 minutes and we never went back to the retirement village again.

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