So yesterday, we officially launched the radarfamilies.com website with a big double page spread in the Mail On Sunday. Whilst I am not mad on the headline (why make it a supposed envy of Bletchley Park?) I think it is largely a very positive piece about the amazing work done in Malvern.
But most of all, I am hoping other “radar kids” (who… ahem… aren’t exactly kids anymore…!) will get in touch and share their memories.
It wasn’t an easy decision to share those treasured photos – my mum and dad so young, so in love, and in a war that, frankly, well….they didn’t know how it was going to end.
I always think of that. When we look back, WE know how it ended – with VE Day and VJ Day, and even though people had died, and come home wounded, we at least felt that the war had been won by those embracing freedom and democracy.
But THEY didn’t know that, did they?
I often think how brave they were, as young people, just to keep optimistic and determined – and happy. No wonder romance blossomed pretty fast and furious in some cases!
My mother used to remember her friend who went off to be a GI bride, and left Britain on one of those big GI bride ships, promising to always stay in touch. Despite my mum writing to her again and again, her friend never replied from USA and they lost touch. My mum always wondered what had happened to her. Perhaps she got to the USA and wasn’t as welcome as she had thought? Perhaps his parents and their home wasn’t what she had expected and she was too ashamed to admit she’d made a terrible mistake – so kept quiet?
War, I guess, produced such problems – and the spectre of unanswered questions lived with my mum right until her old age…
In one way, it’s immensely sad. In another, it’s an uplifting example of the human spirit, and how human love, life and energy survives despite the worst of times.
But I cannot help feel that, along with human determination, courage and scientific brilliance, we got through the worst in 1939-45.
And we are seeing the same sort of resourcefulness, and scientific brilliance, in 2020/21/23?
Still a reason to be proud.