'Walts' cannot stay away.

Chelonian

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I never ask about it because I get the feeling he doesn't want to talk about it.
Understandably it's difficult for some to talk about their experiences. Others regard their past as being of no consequence. But establishing the basic history of one's family is much easier while parents and grandparents are still alive. I wish I'd asked my pa more about his service in Italy.
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Totally get it but my old man has said almost nothing about his naval life. I've only seen a couple of photos as it was so long ago but I was impressed with his documents when I saw them. I never ask about it because I get the feeling he doesn't want to talk about it.
I'd be inclined to ask for "family history". To be honest, most of my family is sick to death hearing my dits, so I don't bother telling them. It maybe a similar case for him.

I've yet to meet a veteran who's "done stuff", so traumatised that it pains them to relate their story. It's usually the reverse.
 

Chelonian

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I've yet to meet a veteran who's "done stuff", so traumatised that it pains them to relate their story.
True. I knew an old boy who had been a prisoner of war of the Japanese for several years. He owned a yacht moored at Dartmouth. The yacht's name was Ban Kwai which he explained roughly meant Village near the River Kwai, or something similar.

I can only assume that he had endured considerable hardship and that's almost certainly an understatement.
But while talking about something else one day the conversation turned to bee keeping and then to honey and then to jam, as conversations randomly do. I mentioned that strawberry jam on rice pudding was something I seldom ate but the memory of it was firmly lodged in my memory.

He then recounted the the story of when he and others had been liberated from Japanese captivity. Because of their emaciated state their diet had to be carefully managed. After they'd been properly hydrated a field kitchen fed two hundred former PoWs in the camp their first 'proper' meal in about three years. The meal? Rice pudding. It was deemed to be the most easily digested food.

"We'd existed only on rice for several years. Imagine how we felt when our first meal in freedom was bloody rice pudding!"

The absurdity of the situation amused him greatly in the 1980s. Apparently two hundred portions of rice pudding had been deposited in a pile onto the camp's parade ground while the head shed considered another menu option. Black humour (or dark humour as it probably must now be called) is an underestimated coping mechanism.
 

Duality

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I don't think it's due to any kind of trauma. He's really quiet and keeps himself to himself. I think he's talked to the nod about a few things.
Surely Walts must know they'll be rumbled at some point. I'm also amazed at how many people say 'yeh, I knew a marine' which is often met with 'did ye, aye!'
 

Chelonian

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A young woman of my acquaintance (well, both she and I were youngish in 1986) was Shetland born and bred. Despite my coaching and numerous prompts she refused to ever exclaim "Jings!" which I had been led to believe was an expression of pleasing surprise. :(
 

Ninja_Stoker

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A young woman of my acquaintance (well, both she and I were youngish in 1986) was Shetland born and bred. Despite my coaching and numerous prompts she refused to ever exclaim "Jings!" which I had been led to believe was an expression of pleasing surprise. :(
Reckon she must've been a Scots Walt. Either that or The Broons was make believe.
 
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