Week 3 National Family History Month (NFHM) Blogging Challenge remembers some of the “significant military battles (that) are commemorated during the month of August such as Mouquet Farm in WWI and Milne Bay in WW2. The Australian Comforts Fund was also founded in August 1916. Did your ancestors have connections to these places, battles or organisation? Is there another anniversary or significant event that your family commemorates/remembers in August?”¹
Our family has never really commemorated any particular battle or place of war. The closest we got was Dad going off to the ANZAC dawn parade.
My father, Ernest Eric Scott KITTO (DOB1917) chose not to share the detail of the situations he found himself in during his time in the Second World War. He said he went to Egypt and Italy but there may have been other places too. He informed us he repaired tanks or was in advance parties before the battles occurred doing what he called engineering jobs so that the fighting men could advance “more easily”. Is it true he was ever under fire or had to fire back? I do not know.
What I do know is that him electing not to talk about it was because he wanted to protect us from the horror and hardships of war, the total brutality, the total dislocation for individuals, families, town and countries and I am grateful.
I am glad he chose to do this as my stomach churns when I turn on the television news and I am confronted by graphic images of war. As horrible as they are I feel fortunate that I have not become immune to horrors of war like the latest images of injured small children not even crying.
All week I have been trying to decide what to write for this post. Meanwhile these news images kept re-appearing on TV for current wars. During this time I have been reviewing my records and searching online for some family history snippet to share. I was becoming fatigued by war – both past and present wars. I know it might be head in the sand stuff yet I was wanting to block it all out.
So with that long introduction this is the family history snippet you get: the one when families start to think it is all over. The one when the men return home. When researching I found in the Evening Post, 29 September 1945, Page 9, that my father was “due to berth at Wellington at about 10a.m., tomorrow”. He was coming back from the Middle East on the Liner Strathmore. The newspaper listed a “large draft of returned personnel of the N.Z.E.F.”, included my father. ²
WW2 KITTO Family History Find with PapersPast
With the return of so many men it must have seemed life might be going back to “normal” but now we know that they brought with them a multitude of mental and physical issues and the war lived in them long after their return. While I may attempt avoid these thoughts, he and many others carried this with them forever. Talking about them may have been good for their mental state. But again they sacrificed themselves to protect us from terror, tragedy and horrors of war.
- Family Tree Frog Blog.
- Paperspast, EVENING POST, VOLUME CXL, ISSUE 78, 29 SEPTEMBER 1945
Where to Find Out More
For Family History Month 2016 on social media use the hashtag #NFHM or #NFHM2016.
To find my blog posts check out the National Family History Month tag, NFHM.
Find out about the challenge and other bloggers taking part in this weeks challenge at Family Tree Frog Blog.
Check out other dates in my family tree for events in my ancestors lives.