Wednesday, 22 March 2017

War Baby ......... stories by Eddy Newport no 22..... Dad and mum

Another in the series by Eddy Newport taken from his book, History of a War Baby.

The Queens Own Territorial Drum and Bugle Band
As I said before, father met mother about five years before they got married. Dad had joined the Territorial Army and was a keen musician and loved military bands. He could play a flute and bugle and also could knock out a tune on a piano.

In fact, he was often called up play to get a party going.

 However, he had a very good ear for tunes and could extract a tune from almost anything that was tuneable.

He went off to camp twice a year and paraded at most of the military events held at Olympia and the White City Stadium in London.

His ability to memorise many tunes was a great asset when playing his flute as he could not read music.

Ted and best friend Geoff Burtchell, TA camp 1931
Written music was always a mystery to him and so the music holder perched upon his instrument was for show only he was often rebuked by the bandmaster for not looking at it.

 The regiment he was in was the Queens Royal West Surry's Kennington. T A and the band was the Queens Own Territorial Drum and Bugle Band Kennington Division

They had their meetings in Braganza Street Drill Hall. I have seen some photos taken at the time and he looked splendid in his uniform playing his flute.

All this and a social life too which took in regular dances at the drill hall, dad being a keen dancer met a young woman who he fell in love with.

Edith Hicks and she lived a short distance from the drill hall. He plucked up courage and asked her for a dance and then asked to take her home.

Edie, aged 18

Dad was 20 and Edie was 15, of course, he did not know this at the time as Edie looked a lot older the she was. Having taken her home and was asked in for a cup of tea, he was quietly informed by Sarah (Nan) just how old mum was.

This did not put him off and having his future mother in law’s consent he started to court Edie and as we would now say they become “an item.”

© Eddy Newport 2017

Pictures; from the collection of Eddy Newport

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