In St Mary the Virgin churchyard in the Birmingham suburb of Acocks Green, lie a number of World War Two graves. These bear testimony to the tale of some young men, from three local families, who joined up during the war. They were spread out among all three of the armed forces. Some were deployed at home, some sent abroad. Their service ranged from the air battle against occupied Europe to the Arctic convoys, from Java in the Far East to battles on the beaches of Dunkirk, in North Africa, Syria/Lebanon, Italy and Greece. Inevitably not all these stories had a happy ending. Some of the men, happily, returned from the war. This is the story of all these men, and also of the families they left behind when they went to war. The course of the war, particularly as it affected Birmingham and Acocks Green in particular, is followed in detail. The book also follows the lives of the survivors and their relatives after the conflict.’
Of this personal Memoire, the author says: When I was young and living with my grandmother as a boy and young man, my grandmother as she grew older, had a sharp mind and could still remember her time as a girl, young woman and then as a married woman. She was fond of telling us stories of her parents, eleven siblings, and particularly about her grandpa Adjai and grandmother Asano. Of course, my siblings and I did not take her seriously and thought it was the ramblings of an old woman. It was not until later that I came to realise that the grandpa Adjai and grandma Asano she used to talk so fondly about were Bishop Samuel Adjai Crowther, the first black bishop in the Anglican communion and his wife Asano. So, using the experience I had gained in my long life as a journalist, I have written this personal memoire of my great great grandfather with whom I am six degrees of separation through my grandmother
In ‘The Fascinating History of My Liberated Ancestors’, the Author starts with a brief Historical sketch of his direct Ancestors beginning in Scotland in the late fifteenth Century. Thereafter, the reader is treated to a very well researched account of those White and Black men and women that traveled between Nova Scotia, Jamaica, Britain and West Africa, particularly Sierra Leone whilst enduring the horrors of Slavery. Against all odds and the many degrading and prejudicial practices, Charles Harding’s Ancestors developed into a formidable Group of well – educated professionals in Medicine, The Law and members of the Cloth. They married and intermarried and played an immeasurable part in the establishment of the British Colony of Sierra Leone that played such a leading role in West Africa until Independence. His masterful writing has not only produced a ‘Family History,’ but a book that provides a unique account of ‘Colonial History’, and a Fascinating one at that. This remarkable book is a truly good read.
For several years, Arnold’s friends have been urging him to write his memoirs. He resisted in the past, as he did not think his life was that interesting, or that people would want to read about it. But, having put pressure on others to write about their lives, Arnold decided that after attaining age eighty he should do so too. This is that story providing Reflections on various aspects of his colourful life without the aid of diaries. He hopes the reader will have an enjoyable read and would comment afterwards in Amazon Reviews and otherwise.