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Remembering.... on VE Day Weekend

So it's 75 years since VE (Victory in Europe) Day, when the Second World War came to an end in Europe.

I'm remembering my English Grandad, Albert and my Grandma Olive (my Mum's parents are Irish).

I also can't forget my Great Uncle Leslie (below), Albert's only brother, who was still a Prisoner of War in Japan and would have to wait till 15 August 1945, when Japan surrendered on VJ Day (Victory over Japan).

Both survived the war. We were lucky. Though my Uncle had an abiding hatred of the Japanese until the day he died, which wasn't surprising given all he had suffered at their hands.

With a surname like Holmes, despite all my searching I've yet to find out much about my Grandad in the War.

I have been told he failed the medical either due to his eyesight or the fact he had suffered from rheumatic fever as a child. So he wasn't allowed to enlist as a fighting soldier.

That must have been hard to bear for him, especially as his brother joined the Royal Air Force (RAF).

So he joined the Royal Army Pay Corps (RAPC) which was one of the few options for those of a "lower medical grade".

The Pay Corps ran field cash offices and traveled with serving troops dealing with finances including converting currency to that of the country in which the division was then serving.

I know he served in North Africa, and my Mum tells me that he had a local boy working for him who he stayed in contact with for years after. I also remember my Nanna showing me African masks that he had brought back with him.

I'm determined to find out more, so I've just applied for his death certificate so I can apply for his Personnel Record from the Ministry of Defence.

Stay safe, stay colourful, Alison

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